Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 31, 2021

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

This second issue spends a little time introducing us to our new heroine, Sky Devil, after her introduction in the previous issue. In a similar vein to Lobster Johnson, Young Hellboy reads comics about her and idolises her with that giddy enthusiasm that only young children can do. This youthful version of Hellboy is infused with an excitable energy that ends up being one of the highlights of the comic, giving readers an entirely different slant on a familiar character. Watching him on his first adventure, on an island that feels reminiscent of a Kong story, replete with giants apes, dinosaurs, along with other creatures, is a real joy.

The first issue threw readers into the story, showing us the events that conspired to land Hellboy and Bruttenholm on the island, before sending Young Hellboy reeling from one threat to the other. This second issue lets readers learn a little about the island, introduce the real villain of the tale, while manipulating the pieces into place for a confrontation in the future. Mike Mignola and Thomas Sniegoski have put a new spin on the typical Hellboy story by making it so Hellboy isn’t the hero of this particular story at all, more just a witness to events, and perhaps it is Sky Devil and the Professor who are the heroes. It’s a big twist on the familiar story and a real strength of the story.

One of the quirks of the Mignolaverse is the way that seemingly inconsequential stories that are introduced end up playing a big role in the overarching story. It’s too early to say whether or not this series will end up important to events beyond these four issues, but as always it’ll be a delight reading and finding out. And surely after creating a character like Sky Devil for our budding adventurer to hero worship it would be remiss for her not to appear again in a later story. And with so much of Hellboys story not yet told there is plenty of potential for her to appear again, assuming that she survives the tale.

The art from Craig Rousseau is fantastic. He really captures the excitement and wonder that Young Hellboy has for the world, letting readers see the joy and confusion on Hellboys face over the course of the story. And of course no tale in the vein of Kong could escape from having giant apes vs dinosaur fights, and they look absolutely incredible. Big action blockbuster style battles. And could it be a Hellboy story without Dave Stewarts stunning colours? The location of the story allows for a much brighter colour palate than the Mignolaverse usually calls for but Hellboys bright reds leave it feeling like it’s still firmly within the larger Hellboy universe.

An entirely different side to our titular hero, it’s fun to watch Young Hellboy experience his first adventure and a previously untold chapter in his life. Hellboys age makes the story feel much lighter than typical fare. Now that the main Hellboy and B.P.R.D. stories have finished any excuse to travel back into that world for a new story is a good one, and the fact the story is so fun is just a bonus. Hopefully this is just the first in an entire series exploring Hellboy in his youth.

Our Score:


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