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Hellboy, Vol. 6: Strange Places - Mignola, Mike

Hellboy, Vol. 6: Strange Places - Mignola, Mike

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Hellboy, Vol. 6: Strange Places by Mignola, Mike

Format: Paperback

Published by Dark Horse, 2006

Mike Mignola returns with his first new Hellboy collection since 2002's Conqueror Worm. After leaving the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Hellboy's travels take him briefly to Africa, then for a two-year stint at the bottom of the ocean. An ancient witch doctor, a giant fish woman and keeper of the secret history of the universe force Hellboy to either accept his role in the coming apocalypse, or have that role stolen from him. Weird undersea creatures and talking lions populate this turning-point adventure, which reveals secrets buried since Hellboy's very creation. This volume collects Harvey-and-Eisner-award winner Mike Mignola's Hellboy series The Third Wish and The Island with over a dozen unused pages and a new epilogue. Publishers Weekly Mignola's first collection in his popular Hellboy series (since the 2004 film based on it) features two odd, bleak fables. The first and more successful is "The Third Wish," in which the demonic hero has an enchanted nail driven into his skull and encounters an enormous talking fish who grants her own granddaughters' wishes with fatal consequences. In the process, Hellboy learns that he may be fated to bring about the end of the world. The ending is unremittingly dark, with all the surviving characters trapped by prophecies that have the crushing power of myth. Mignola admits in his notes that he struggled with "The Island," which has to do with "the entire secret history of the world," a dragon, some centuries-dead Crusaders and a bunch of Lovecraftian monsters, and ultimately it doesn't make a lot of sense. Fortunately, Mignola's moody, jagged, chiaroscuro-crazed artwork makes everything look lushly sinister and engaging, even when the story threatens to collapse into action scenes. Hellboy himself is a terrific contrast to his grim surroundings: a hard-boiled demon who shrugs off death itself with a "yeah, yeah" and is convinced, against all the evidence, that he's one of the good guys. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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