Story: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson
Art: Brian Churilla
Colors: Dave Stewart
What They Say:
Hellboy squares off against a pair of Chinese demons while Sue psychically hunts down the source of the supernatural trouble in Hong Kong.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The second half of the Ghost Moon story is one that brings the arc to a quick close and what we get from it is largely a holding pattern. A story is wrapped up but the larger threads are at play with what’s going on, things that from my limited view are just mysterious since I’m not fully enmeshed in the world of Hellboy. That leaves this installment from Roberson just a little too light for me on content, but it at least looks fun and has a good flow to it with what Churilla brings to the page with the designs and layouts. It’s definitely a bit askew from what other recent outings have been like but I like that they shake it up from time to time with the artwork.
While the S.I.D. background material is interesting in bits and pieces, mostly making up the ending segment and serving for what’s yet to come, the bulk of the issue works in two tracks. The fun one is seeing Hellboy dealing with the demons at hand and working to hold them back from their mysterious goals. It’s always good to see him in a tussle and that delivers fairly well here thanks to Churilla’s designs. When Hellboy gets to shift things up by getting his hand on the Hingping and being told to smash it, being of a different being than all the humans involved here, it’s an easy enough feet that puts everything in motion to wrap it up. And it does that nicely with the people who had fallen asleep and so forth. But it’s all just very pat and quick, something that even Hellboy feels weird about because it’s all kind of too easy and like it’s missing something – which I felt as well.
A lot of what we get involves Roland going up against Thomas, who has acquired the jar for his own purposes of acquiring power. While Roland is naturally frustrated because he doesn’t think that he should have to work about people on his own side backstabbing him, he’s also trying to figure out what the bigger play is here. There’s a lot of backstory mixed in which is well presented but feels like padding more than anything else. There are fun moments to it but Thomas really just comes across as not rich or deep enough to pull this off while Roland is almost a little too naive in going along with how he views the world should be and his side. It’s understandable to some degree but he’s certainly seen enough prior to this to not be quite so naive.
The back half of Ghost Moon isn’t bad but it’s also not something that really drove me to it in a big way. I liked the first half of the story with all the set up and the first blush introductions to what was going on in Kowloon, but the back half just felt like it was wrapped up too easily, that the action was just kind of a holding pattern at best, and that so much time with given to Thomas and his plans without it really amounting to anything than a standard power hungry guy that it simply didn’t resonate. Churilla’s artwork was definitely a nice change of pace with things as was the material with the other demons but it wasn’t enough to really make it fully engaging.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 12th, 2017