Review – Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: Night of the Cyclops (one-shot) (Dark Horse)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Mike Mignola, Olivier Vatine
Artist: Olivier Vatine
Colours: Clem Robins
Release Date: 25th May 2022
Thessaly, Greece. 1962.
After an encounter with a creature from Greek Mythology, Hellboy isn’t convinced that his mission is over so he decides to wait behind and see what happens. After a suspiciously short amount of time, a talking goat appears and leads Hellboy to the underground world of a village cursed by the Goddess Aphrodite who, in a jealous rage due to the unsurpassed beauty of the village elders daughter, transformed them all into fawns and set a cyclops over them to torment their days.
This one-shot is another story from the world of Hellboy. Set in the pantheon of Greek Mythology, which is a road we don’t often see Hellboy take, this is a classic tragic love story with the wrath of a jealous woman becoming the wrath of a jealous mother, one whose patience can span eons.
I really liked the artwork in this book. Olivier Vatine does a grand job of bringing Hellboy to life, and is certainly the star of this particular show. The landscape at first seems confined like the world of Atlantis that Mike Mignola created for Disney, but we are soon treated to a landscape of (if you’ll pardon the pun) Cyclopean proportions, filled with lots of nice little details. The way that the story of Aphrodite and Aelita is presented in the traditional ‘Greek’ art is a nice touch, although I did burst into “The Gospel Truth” from Disney’s Hercules while I was reading this section (sorry Mike!).
As I’ve said before, I like these little self-contained stories, they have a lot of Cham about them and remind me of the early days of Hellboy. Despite the cast of Greek Gods, mythological creatures, and curses, this is a lighter moment in the Hellboy universe, with time for a little flirtation and humour which is nice to see for Big Red. That said, we do get a good solid Titan stomping for good measure!
After over 25 years of publication, it’s very difficult to review Hellboy titles objectively. There’s so much history and an incredible pedigree that engenders a certain amount of loyalty and a view of the Mignolaverse through rose-tinted spectacles. Over the last few years, there have been the odd title that hasn’t really landed for me, but when you count the odd misfire against the literal decades of amazing output it seems churlish to make a big deal about it.
I really enjoyed this particular title. It’s not Hellboy at its peak, but it is a fun adventure, the artwork is great, and, well, it’s Hellboy!
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek
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