One of the things I like most about Mike Mignola is his ability to not only change up stories, but change up his story-telling style, as well. I'll admit I was a bit wary while reading the first issue in this three-part series. It seemed like Mignola might just be doin' a hillbilly phone-in.
But no! He's right on target, and still very much a master talesman. The Crooked Man will probably end up as one of my favourite off-the-beaten-path Hellboy story. I mean, most Hellboy is weird and strange and cool and weird. Well, weird to most-- it's perfectly normal to me. But Crooked Man? I little odd for me, which is great. This story has all sorts of downhome goodness. Family, witches, disgusting white insectoid creatures. In other words: Good times.
The story is simple enough... In 1958 Hellboy and his new buddy, Tom, are trying to get Tom's soul back from the devil, who he sold it to. They traverse the wilds of Appalachia and encounter all sorts of crap. From what I've read elsewhere, this story is steeped in Appalachian folklore. I'm not all that familiar in that area of study, but I'm sure Mignola has it down cold. I'm certainly enjoying the ride so far!
Richard Corben is perfect as our illustrative guide on this bizarre journey into a part of America few know, or would ever want to know. His imagery is bleak and dark and just downright scary at times. I'm tellin' ya, when I saw the white creature spring from Cora's mouth I about shit my pants.
I love this evil man-artist with all my black heart.
#3 can't come soon enough! I love these little fill-ins on Hellboy's past. I hope they explore more of this kind of thing in the future.
Fellow Hellboy fans, go forth and procure this series. You ain't gonna regret it, y'hear?
Read more about The Crooked Man here.
Lethality: The 6-man group gets lost in the woods. In an act of desperation, they decide to marry their sisters in order to achieve salvation. Five of them succeed, only to randomly killed by scissor-wilding maggot creatures. Very, very messy.