Comic Picks By The Glick

Hellboy vol. 12: The Storm and The Fury

March 24, 2012

We were promised big things at the end of the last major “Hellboy” story “The Wild Hunt” and Mignola and Fegredo deliver the goods here.  “The Storm and The Fury” is an epic that begins with the return of England’s “Noble Dead” and culminates with... well, the next arc will be titled “Hellboy in Hell” so you do the math.  In between is the title character’s struggle with the fact that this new option presented to him may not be the right way out of his fate, but the only other option left is for him to follow his gut.  That’s where a lot of the twists in this story will hit you as a lot of the events here have been set up for years in advance of their payoff here.  Granted, it’s not an end to the story of the Ogdru Jahad but it does put what’s at stake here in its proper context and lets us know that what’s going in “B.P.R.D.” is also very relevant to the story being told here as well.

Mignola will be returning to drawing the main story full-time after this volume, but this allows Fegredo to go out on an absolute high point.  Though I’ve felt the man’s main contribution to the series has been his uncanny stylistic consistency with Mignola,  he proves himself to be as capable of handling things on an epic scale -- just like, yes Bryan Hitch -- as we’re shown scenes of giant armies gathering, visions of the world in ruins, and Hellboy having the mother of all throw-downs with a giant dragon.  It’s gorgeous, captivating work that makes me glad Fegredo will be doing a stand-alone graphic novel with Mignola sometime in the future.  Mignola himself does lend his artistic skills to a three-page epilogue that looks great, but comes with a caveat.  As much as I liked this volume, there were a few things in the main story that didn’t come across as clear as they should (How did Hellboy get that sword in the final battle?) and this sequence appears to have been created to specifically address those issues.  Even so, this is a watershed moment for the series and even if it’ll be a while before we find out what happens next, we’ve got the just-as-excellent “B.P.R.D.” to tide us over until then.