Hellboy & The B.P.R.D. - The Return of Effie Kolb #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on October 28, 2020

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Zach Howard
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins

With the concluding part of The Return of Effie Kolb I had a few concerns going in after the first issue. It felt like so much story had been introduced that this could have been a big story-arc, not simply a two-parter, and I was concerned about how the story could be wrapped up with just one issue, without feeling rushed. I should have known better than to have doubted Mike Mignola, who’s expertise in storytelling makes this second issue feel like a well-paced conclusion to the first issue.

We learn enough about each of the characters to understand who they are and their motivations, we learn the fate of Effie Kolb and it’s a satisfying conclusion to story threads introduced way back in the crooked man, and we’re introduced to a potential new storyline later on with the Linton School for Girls which was teased in the first issue. It definitely feels like a lot, but at no point does it feel rushed or crammed in. And since this is Hellboy there are also monsters and epic fights as well.

One of the strengths of Hellboy as a series is the way it draws together seemingly unrelated events and stories to produce an epic overarching narrative where even the smallest and inconsequential events prove to be important later on. It feels like this is something which this two-parter has done by introducing us to Sara and this mysterious school, both of which promise a return at some point in the future and to be important.

Zach Howard was an inspired choice as artist for this series. His work is very reminiscent of Richard Corbens original work on the crooked man, which helps draw the reader straight back into that storyline. Which is not to say that his work is a copy, it just fits incredibly naturally with what Corben had done with the original series. And of course the other mainstay of the Hellboy universe is Dave Stewarts colouring. Hellboy wouldn’t be Hellboy without Stewarts colouring, not only that but it helps bring all the different artists together with a uniformity that says ‘This is part of the Hellboy Universe’ which is a nice touch.

It’s been said that the best Hellboy stories are the short stories, and this two-parter with the return of several fan favourite characters manages just that. Fans have everything they could want from a return to Hellboys world, and it’s also nice to fill in some of the gaps in Hellboys career that have until this point been glossed over. Zach Howard is a great choice of artist as his style nicely emulates Corbens from the Crooked Man storyline.

Our Score:


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