Comic Review: Hellboy: The Silver Lantern Club #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

Mike Mignola and Chris Robertson return to the world of Hellboy to deliver a new adventure! The story is set in the 1950s during Hellboy’s young adult years as he […]

Mike Mignola and Chris Robertson return to the world of Hellboy to deliver a new adventure!

The story is set in the 1950s during Hellboy’s young adult years as he travels with Professor Bruttenholm on a trip to England after their exploits to aid the Professor’s friend in a paranormal investigation. Upon reuniting with Professor Bruttenholm’s uncle Simon to make up for lost time, Simon regales them of his time with the Silver Lantern Club. What ties does Simon have? And does it connect with The professor’s and Hellboy’s investigation in London? And how did this affect Hellboy and his BPRD allies?

What’s great about Hellboy is that despite the character’s initial run being completed (from beginning to end) , there’s still room for Mignola and company to play in the sandbox that they’ve crafted together after so many years. This is a good sign for readers who might feel intimidated by continuity, while also complimenting longtime fans who desire to read more Hellboy stories that scratch the itch. It’s amazing that Mignola can have any stories to tell for the character after his lengthy run.

The writing is great, filled with historical nooks and crannies that are peppered into this paranormal tale of mystery. While that is no surprise in regards to a Hellboy book, it’s a good sign that Mignola, Robertson, and Mitten are still able to deliver something that fits well within the continuity of Hellboy, adding another layer to the character’s mythology. Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it justifiably entertaining that keeps you invested in this moment in time of Hellboy’s life? Absolutely. The writing team does a great job at weaving a story that parallels past and present, with characters that seem just as interesting as the title character himself. To be able to make a story that’s focused on other characters that keep your attention is a good sign of good writing. You’re invested in the journey and interested in where the story goes next. In regards to the character of Simon, his interaction with Hellboy,  the well-timed humor of his storytelling infused with the paranormal events of his youth, and how it reflects the current investigation that The professor and Hellboy are investigating, is worth the read.

Ben Sternbeck does the linework for this book, and it complements the story nicely. There’s a looseness to his work that fits the mold of the overall Mignola aesthetic, while also being it’s own. Sternbeck’s art is loose yet fitting that it isn’t distracting or unnecessarily busy. The art serves its purpose in conveying what’s occurring within the story visually, which is something that isn’t easy to do, but Sternbeck is able to do that well. What really makes Sternbeck’s art and rendering really shine is the solid color work by Michelle Madsen that gives Sternbeck’s work a certain kind of energy that is atmospherically pleasing to the overall story of the book. Accompanied by Clem Robins lettering, the art team manages to deliver an enjoyable reading experience.

This is a nice first issue that’s full of mystery, and humor. It’s reader-friendly for new fans, it’s complimentary to longtime fans, and is a load of fun. If you’re looking for something that is a break from the usual superhero flair, that isn’t superheroes, seeking a mystery story fitting for the fall season, like a bit of the macabre, mystery, and humor, then I couldn’t recommend this book enough. It’s definitely a book that’s worth checking out and adding to your pull list.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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