Dark Horse Comics
Come merry folks and enjoy this quaint Christmas tale on this blessed day. Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes transport us back to Austria, 1975, in this delightfully festive tale. Here we find Hellboy at work, who encounters an exhausted and demoralised Krampus, the anti-Santa in German folklore, who wills to retire from his evil duties.
Mike Mignola offers us a real twist on the Krampus tale, with compelling writing and harrowing characters. As ghost tales go, this has got to be one of the more exhilarating and still confusing. Mignolia has crammed in all the stereotypical features of a ghost story; spectral children, beautiful ghosts, an isolated cabin in the woods, and Hughes has made them look new and original.
Adam Hughes artwork is delectable, shadowy glows paired with green tinged action shots, plus the intricate details you would expect from a Mike Mignola story, skulls, chains and finery all meticulously portrayed. The depiction of Krampus as a Father Christmas-like old man who transforms spectacularly into a goat demon whilst remaining some resemblance is outstanding. As well as that, Hughes’ layout of sound effects is fluent and respectful to the artwork, a small detail but can often be done poorly. He creates nail-biting drama with his fight scene between Krampus and Hellboy and Christmas warmth back at HQ.
A wonderful Christmas present from Mignola and team, this story is a wonderful addition to the Hellboy collection. Still as dark and twisted as ever, but teamed with Hughes, the pair gives a new complexity to Hellboy in vivacious new artwork. With this variant sketch cover as well, the whole issue is compiled with great care and thought, though I personally have an aversion to gloss covers.
Use of English:
- Basic use of English for main part
- Brief complex sentences to end with reference to other countries and traditions
Pandemonium- mania, chaos
Sabbath – in this context, a midnight meeting with the Devil
It’s a one-off Christmas special so enjoy it as it is! Perhaps a wonderful belated Christmas gift to pick up on Boxing Day…
It would be a 9/10 but I didn’t need the fuzzy Christmas ending, and I don’t like the gloss cover.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Adam Hughes
Colourist: Adam Hughes
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