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Hellboy, Vol. 8: Darkness Calls Paperback – May 13, 2008
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As far as storylines go, this one is a great piece of literature and feels like a prequel to something larger. You can see it in the way specific things happen and in the omens that sometimes show their heads and sometimes find themselves spoken of. There are also a lot of familiar faces gathered around to put the tale together, giving people a prospective on what exactly happens when a lot of "somethings" get together. I personally liked the touch of all of it: the storyline carries its own weight, Hellboy has to put in work to figure out what is happening and what role he is playing, and there is a bigger thing than Hellboy working within the context. A reader has to pay attention to the story to make sure they catch everything that is going on as well - the good thing about that is that it is Mignola at his finest, not simply making Hellboy to make Hellboy but to put some love into his finest creation. That is a good thing to see because Mignola himself said that he had fallen out of love with Hellboy and was planning a break for a while (he never said how long that while would be, either, and that frightened a lot of people) before this came out. Merrily, he found his muse and his folklore calling and meshed it all together into one exotic blend that I have not seen for some time.
Finally, readers have a long story to call their own once more.
For anyone that has followed Hellboy along the crooked path he has walked recently, this is a good place to keep going because connectivity exists here. Darkness Calls has a consecutiveness that plays along with the other stories that have been taking place and, merrily, Hellboy seems to be fine. I never figured Mignola for one to give up on Hellboy anyhow and, just as Hellboy wandered, I think Mignola wandered and tried to think about what he wanted. So, if this is a picture of things to come then it seems like a fine one indeed.
Recommended highly for those who have been keeping up, but not as a starting place.
Darkness Calls is a wonderfully dark book that brings back characters from previous Hellboy stories and sets the stage for new ones, and Duncan Fegredo's art is an absolute godsend. I loved everything about this arc.
As for the book itself, the condition was very good; the corners were a little worn, but that's inconsequential. It actually arrived earlier than the expected date, so bravo to that as well!
Of course, Mignola is still in charge of the plot, and man does he deliver. While promises that Darkness Calls contains plot elements from the new movie turn out empty, the reality is far better - this volume weaves together all the loose threads from previous hellboy tales into a weird and beautiful tapestry. The Baba Yaga is back, and she does her best to makes life miserable for our nonchalant red hero. Hecate gets her just desserts, and Igor Bromhead, that sniveling worm from Box of Evil, makes an appearance as well. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but expect some questions to be answered, many more to be raised, and an engrossing new chapter to be added to the mythology of Hellboy.