Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 02, 2021

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

There has been a slow build up across the series towards this issue, which suddenly feels like it’s got a whole lot of story to cram into just one issue. The danger of course being it would feel too rushed. No need to worry though, Mike Mignola & Thomas Sniegoski have it under control and manage to tie up most of the loose ends neatly and without rushing through.

Having Young Hellboy as the protagonist, and Bruttenholm outgunned, is an interesting choice here. Typically in a Hellboy story it ends with Hellboy clobbering something with his big stone hand. This time he’s more of a bystander than the hero. Mignola & Sniegoski handle this in a really clever way, by making him the narrator when the inevitable giant battle goes down. It’s really effective as it makes Young Hellboy the main character in the story as he narrates, lets readers see more of this barely touched upon side of Anung-Un-Rama, as well being incredibly entertaining. Mignola & Sniegoski manage to make it feel like it really is a kid telling the story, excellently done.

In typical Mignola fashion no story is ever truly finished, and there is plenty of potential to see more of this world later. It delivers everything that was promised from the first issue. Young Hellboy. Deserted island reminiscent of Kong Island. Fights between giant gorilla’s and monsters. Dinosaurs. Supernatural creatures. It has all of these in spades, but still manages to maintain the feel of a Mignola title, even if the presence of a much younger Hellboy does lighten the mood more than usual.

Craig Rousseau’s art is a perfect match for the wild tale that unfolds. Vesperra is suitably imposing as a dangerous threat, not just to our heroes but to the world. This prehistoric and supernatural world comes to life brilliantly. But more than that, it’s Young Hellboy that really shines. There is an innocence to our hero that contrasts perfectly with the world weary Hellboy that readers have come to love. Dave Stewarts colours are much brighter than we would typically see in his Mignola work, only Hellboys vibrant reads are consistent with the typical work he does, and it’s an excellent fit for the lighter aspect of the story.

A conclusion worthy to the first of, hopefully, many more Young Hellboy stories to come. An excellent reminder that readers have still only covered a fraction of Hellboys life and there are literally hundreds more stories to read. Seeing him so much younger and more innocent, in stark contrast to our world-weary hero, makes for great reading.

Our Score:


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