Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson
Artist: Shawn Martinbrough
Colours: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clem Robins
Release Date: 10th August 2022
Dr. “Woody” Farrier joins the B.P.R.D. in 1953. Young, idealistic, full of hope and wonder, and seeing this as the perfect opportunity to prove his theories on Cryptozoology and hopefully find a brand new species. By 1957, Woody is somewhat less than enthusiastic. Yes, he’s seen any number of demons, mutations, mutated demons; but no actual cryptozoological evidence; so with thoughts of his future with the Bureau weighing on his mind, he sets off to West Virginia with Hellboy on another “snipe hunt”, dragging the last scraps of hope for a discovery behind him.
Falling Sky is the latest in a long list of recent Mignolaverse short run stories and one-shots. And, for a bit of a change, this latest release takes the time to give us a more personal look at a team member, with Hellboy taking a back seat, almost guiding Woody through the story.
This is not an action-packed story, nor is is particularly horror focused, but it is a surprisingly uplifting one; and it’s nice to see the more human side of the B.P.R.D. team when they’re not under threat of global catastrophe once in a while. Plus, we don’t often get chance to see Hellboy as a mentor.
I’ve been reading Hellboy for a very long time, and while I still thoroughly enjoy all things Mignolaverse, I’m at the age where I prefer the Omnibus Editions and HC GN’s that Dark Horse are release these days. As there are so many of these short series coming out, I am hoping this will form part part of the next year’s Omnibus. This is a good, incidental episode, and one that would be a good way of breaking up darker, heavier stories, but on its own, I think it just lacks the oomph to attract new readers. The story is light, fun, and heartwarming, and the art as always is of the quality we have come to expect from a Mike Mignola title, but this is – for me, at least – a story to lead in to others rather than one to be taken on its own.
There are almost 30 years worth of Hellboy/B.P.R.D. stories out in the wild, so not every story can be a groundbreaking masterclass, and while this story might not thrill you, it’s unfair to judge this in any way other than a good character story in an ongoing and vastly successful world.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek