Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Publication Date: October 28th 2015
Halloween will soon be upon us, so it’s only befitting that a brand new Hellboy should be released in time for the occasion. With two tales rooted in supernatural horror, it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Following on from Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952, Mike Mignola’s latest series continues to tell stories of a past Hellboy, as he travels around with his mentor Professor Buttenholm battling creatures of the night.
First up we have “The Phantom Hand’’, a chilling tale which sees Hellboy, Buttenholm and Harry. H Middleton investigating a haunted English manor in 1955. However, it’s not your conventional haunted manor affair, as the spook of the week is a demonically possessed hand that’s been on the loose for three decades. But that’s only the beginning, as the situation quickly escalates into even more horrifying territory. This story sent chills down my spine as it reminded me of the supposed legend of Aleistair Crowley’s Boleskine House in Loch Ness, Scotland. I dare you to read about that with the lights out next time you’re home alone at night.
The next story ‘’The Kelpie’’ sees our three heroes on a picnic in the country, where Harry and Buttenholm recall their first ever experience with the supernatural. Although the weaker of the tales, it’s still enjoyable and provides some backstory for Harry Middleton and Professor Buttenholm that’s fun to read. Furthermore, it touches on a fascinating slice of Scottish folklore that’s worth reading up on if you get the chance.
Hellboy B.P.R.D: 1953 will please fans both old and new. Not only does it serve a throwback to the days of self-contained story arcs, but it’s a great starting point for unacquainted readers to pick up and enjoy without having to know anything prior. Furthermore, long term readers will appreciate experiencing new adventures from their favourite Satan spawn. Mike Mignola and Hellboy fit together like hand and glove, and Ben Stenbeck’s penchant for gothic art continues to compliment everything he touches.
Overall, B.P.R.D: 1953 – The Phantom Hand & The Kelpie is a solid start to yet another promising series in the Hellboy franchise.
The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_