Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on April 13, 2021

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

The first issue of Young Hellboy introduced us to our familiar hero in a brand new way which readers have only seen briefly covered in some of the B.P.R.D. prequels, and their introduction to this mysterious island where time seems to have stood still. The second issue introduced a new heroine, akin to Lobster Johnson in the way that Hellboy hero worships them, along with the villain of the piece, a vampire named Vesperra. This third issue tells the history of the island, as well as building towards the upcoming battle. The issue builds to a crescendo which really raises the stakes to almost insurmountable odds.

One of the real highlights and joys of this series has been watching Young Hellboy as a kid. He is almost unrecognisable as the world weary adult readers are familiar with, constantly fighting against his destiny. Mike Mignola and Thomas Sniegoski manage to capture his youth, making every line he utters filled with unending enthusiasm and excitement. He befriends two of the younger apes on the island, and chats away with them as they explore, both parties completely clueless to what the other is saying, but it doesn't matter. Barriers like language can be easily overlooked as children, which is exactly what Hellboy does here. It's nice to watch him just being a kid. But what really empthasises his immaturity is the way he is completely oblivious to the dangers he finds himself in, as only young children can manage. This early chapter will no doubt be integral in shaping him into the adult he is destined to become. His inexperience is evident in every panel.

Craig Rousseau does a great job with Hellboys wide eyed wonder on every panel, playing as integral a part in bringing his youthfulness to life as Mignola and Sniegoski’s dialogue for the character. The monsters on the island are a great fit for the larger Mignolaverse, while managing to have their own unique look and flavour to the series, and with the various different denizens on the island Rousseau gets an opportunity to draw plenty of monstrous creations.

Dave Stewarts colours Hellboy in his signature red, but gets an opportunity to use much brighter and more vibrant colours with the rest of the artwork than would typically be seen in his Mignolaverse work. It looks great, managing to make it feel a part of the larger universe whilst also a different aspect than readers are typically used to.

The penultimate issue of the series manages to show a chapter and aspects of Hellboys story that is brand new and different to anything which readers are familiar with, Hellboys youth and inexperience put a vastly different spin on the series, and rather than Hellboy being the hero of the story he is more of a passenger to events. The art looks stunning, and Mignola fans will love seeing this previously unsung chapter in our titular demons tale.

Our Score:


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