Title: Hellboy Omnibus.
Story-Arc: The Wild Hunt.
Writer(s): Mike Mignola.
Illustrator(s): Duncan Fegredo and Dave Stewart.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics.
Format: Paperback – Omnibus.
Release Date: July 31st 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror, Fantasy.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.
Previously on Hellboy:
Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mignola
Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola
Hellboy Omnibus Volume 2: Strange Places by Mike Mignola
This is the point in the series where I realized I was completely enchanted by this character and the lore that envelops him. It is not easy at first to identify the exact elements that give Hellboy his charm and fanbase, but the more you stick around with the character and all his adventures, whether they are relevant to the overarching story or not, the more you understand that this series has a personality well-worth exploring. With his vibrant red skin, his right hand of doom, his heroic tendencies in the face of evil and his laid-back demeanor, Hellboy strives to become one of the most iconic characters to have ever been created by the end of this omnibus.
Hellboy Omnibus Vol. 3: The Wild Hunt collects “Darkness Calls” (vol. 8), “The Wild Hunt” (vol. 9) and “The Storm and the Fury” (vol. 12) and technically marks the end of the original Hellboy series. As Hellboy continues to seek a life void of all the shenanigans that fate has bestowed upon him, much more powerful forces come into play and drags Hellboy back in the midst of it all, whether he wants to or not. From the Russian witch Baba Yaga to King Arthur, there’s not a single moment of rest for Hellboy as time has come for him to make a decision in regards to his role in the bigger scheme of things. It definitely becomes a lot more complicated for our half-demon when the Queen of Blood arrives on the scene. At last, a major war is within sight and it is bound to spark the end of the world unless Hellboy does something about it.
It is without doubt that I proclaim this omnibus and the story arcs it contains as the pinnacle of greatness and the ultimate reward for fans who have stuck around for all the hell our half-demon was put through, but also the hell that he brought around with him. It would be an understatement to say it was the most epic ending that I could’ve imagined. While earlier story arcs were harder to follow and needed a lot more concentration to figure out what was going on, the structure was a lot cleaner and the story-telling much more refined in this omnibus. Every story arc succeeded in tying up loose ends and connecting all the pieces, that were in fact barely holding on to each other, in a narratively gripping fashion.
It’s however the way Mike Mignola integrated various folklore within his universe that elevated the game in these story arcs. While I was much more familiar with the characters that were introduced here, the very integration felt so natural and perfect to Hellboy’s story. I particularly loved the introduction of Koshchei the Deathless and the action sequences that came with him. Speaking of new arrivals, the story also dives into Hellboy’s origins and further develops the mosaic that is his destiny by ultimately creating a folklore of its own.
One of the biggest changes that also immensely contributed in creating these epic story arcs is the artwork by Duncan Fegredo. While my first experience of his style was in the first short story omnibus and his “The Midnight Circus” story, I can now say that his artwork truly brings the missing ingredient that turns this ending to the original series into a tour de force. While remaining entirely loyal to Mike Mignola’s style, Duncan Fegredo simply adds his own flavour that brings not only detail and toning to the world, but the very gravitas that veers this universe closer to horror, or at least what I’d qualify as creepy and dangerous.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
Hellboy: Blood & Iron is the second and last animated Hellboy movie released in 2007! It’s loosely based on Wake the Devil story arc by Mike Mignola (found in the first omnibus) and still has Ron Perlman as the voice actor behind Hellboy!