Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 16, 2021

Writers: Mike Mignola & Thomas Sniegoski
Artist: Craig Rousseau
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins

One of the joys of the larger Hellboy universe over the past few years has been exploring some of the missing gaps in the span of Hellboys life. We’ve already delved a little into his younger years with the B.P.R.D. 1946 – 1948 stories, but they’ve been stories about the B.P.R.D. without the same focus on Hellboy. Young Hellboy aims to change that, by giving readers a story focused on a Hellboy much younger than we’re used to. And if this first issue in The Hidden Land is anything to go by fans are in for a real treat.

Right from the first page Hellboys youth is in evidence, not just in his youthful appearance but in his speech. He isn’t just inexperienced, he’s a kid, and it works fantastically. He talks like an excited kid onboard the plane where the Professor is planning on taking him to investigate an underground Incan city. And because nothing is ever smooth in Hellboys world unexpected events transpire to not only stop the plane reaching its destination, but Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm find themselves on a mysterious island filled with all manners of prehistoric creatures.

It’s interesting to catch glimpses of the man Hellboy will grow into, but also seeing him more as a victim to be rescued than the usual hero we get to see. It’s a fun story which has all the hallmarks of a classic Mignola tale, but featuring characters in a way we rarely get to see them.

Craig Rousseau does an excellent job with the art, he brings Young Hellboy to life in an incredible way which manages to capture his youthful enthusiasm and excitement for life at the start of the story, then the panic in his eyes when everything begins to go wrong. And seeing Hellboy with his manbun at such a young age is sure to delight readers. There is a new character introduced who’s filled with menace from his first appearnce, and readers can see the malice he means toward Hellboy. The action scenes are filled with a frantic energy which is effective, and the mysterious island that Hellboy and the professor end up on is beautifully brought to life, a jungle filled with prehistoric creatures. Then there’s Dave Stewarts colours, which are as excellent as always, and integral to the larger Mignolaverse.

An insight into a part of Hellboys early years that readers haven’t had much opportunity to explore, it feels like a typical Mignola story, but Hellboys inexperience and youth give it a fun and much lighter feel than readers are typically used to. The art is excellent and Hellboy fans will love this.

Our Score:


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