Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola, Richard Corben, Mick McMahon, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Dave Stewart
Release Date: 13th April 2016
Finally collected into one volume, Hellboy in Mexico gathers together all of the tales of Hellboy’s drunken exploits in Mexico. Exploits of which he has absolutely no recollection. Let’s be honest though, we’ve all been there, right?
With Mignola on writing duties for the collection, it’s an absolute pleasure to see the master himself at work. The stories themselves perfectly embody what fans enjoy most about the character; stupid, incredible, funny and heart-wrenching in equal measure.
Before every story, Mignola includes a small piece describing the thought process that went into it, where he found the artist, and where the original idea came from. These small insights alone are fascinating, giving an in-depth look into what created the stories before you read them.
With every chapter of the book seemingly representing different clichés that can happen in real life when you’re out on a bender, there are more than a few of these I can relate to. I mean, who hasn’t gone out partying with Lucha Wrestlers-come-Vampire Hunters?! Or gone on the hunt to find a Brujo (twice) only to wake up with no pants?!
In the art department, every creator included here brings their A-gam, with each bringing a distinctive flair to their respective stories. Obviously Mignola is in there somewhere as well, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve talked about how much I love his artwork, so we’ll focus on the others for now. The stand out talent for me was Mike McMahon. With a dynamic, cinematic panel structure, the way his style transitions so abruptly after Hellboy realises what has happened was perfectly done. I feel that artists occasionally find it hard to make Hellboy’s face expressive, but McMahon manages to perfectly capture that look of “aw yeah….shit” we’ve all had when you realise the night didn’t quite go as you thought.
Richard Corben also deserves a standing ovation of sorts for the stories that bookend the volume. There’s just something super enjoyable about seeing his work. Maybe it’s the subject matter, maybe I’m just a sucker for a man in tights. Nevertheless, it’s truly something special.
The hidden gem of the volume, however, would go to the duo/twins by the name of Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. While both stories are short, the twins’ contrasting styles work perfectly in unison with each other. Sometimes less is more, and this is a damn fine example of that.
So, what more can I say? This is classic Hellboy. This is the Hellboy you want to read. It lacks the seriousness of BPRD, or the super-surrealism of Hellboy In Hell. It’s just Hellboy. Drunk. In Mexico. And goddamn was it good to devour.
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