Friday, July 2, 2010

The Hellboy Project: Hellboy Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Others

Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Mike Mignola, P. Craig Russell, and Richard Corben

As I've been trying to read the different Hellboy stories in the order in which they were originally published, this volume has taken me a long time to get through.  Most of the stories here were published as one-shots or as part of anthologies, although there are a couple that were mini-series and one story that was published especially for this volume.

Most of the stories in this book are structured around Mignola re-writing or adapting a myth or legend from some part of the world.  Instead of just worrying about British and Celtic folklore, he casts a wider net, encompassing Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa.  This results in a wide variety of stories, although most of them have a similar simple structure of: Hellboy encounters monster; Hellboy destroys monster.  The differences are in the settings.

This volume is also unique because, for the first time, Mignola has allowed other artists to work on Hellboy.  Not one for half measures, the two artists employed here are P. Craig Russell and Richard Corben.  Russell illustrates an interesting vampire story set in Prague, where he spends a large number of panels illustrating the statuary that adorns that city.

The Corben story might be the most unusual Hellboy story I've read yet, as Hellboy imagines himself as the lead player in the African legend of Makoma, and his quest.  This is a gorgeous story, as anyone would expect.

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