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Young Hellboy: Assault on Castle Death #1 Review

4 min read

Dark events are circulating around Hellboy as he moves to Connecticut.

Creative Staff:
Story: Mike Mignola, Thomas Sniegoski
Art: Craig Rousseau
Colors:Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Clem Robins

What They Say:
Returned from their adventures on a secret island, Hellboy and the Professor move with the B.P.R.D. from New Mexico to Connecticut. The relocation is tough on Hellboy: is he just homesick, or have scrambled memories from the island gripped the supernatural whippersnapper? Meanwhile, word of Hellboy’s survival has also reached an unknown enemy, who failed to kill him once before but is determined not to be foiled again…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ve long enjoyed the concept of Hellboy and a few of the series over the years but I’ve read probably less than ten percent of the works created over its run since the old Bravura days. Dark Horse has dropped this new one-shot that has Mike Mignola doing a little cleanup and closure on a part of the past that works nicely and that got me back into the mood to look for more to try – even though I’m missing lots of context. This is the second series I think that deals with Young Hellboy and has Thomas Sniegoski joining Mignola on the script. Craig Rousseau has long been a favorite of mine and his work with Chris O’Halloran here means we’re getting a really strong visual presentation that captures this period and all of the kind of old-school starkness that it needs in the architecture and the character designs.

Taking place in 1947, the premise here brings Hellboy to Connecticut after an adventure that he and the professor had in South America that has them rethinking the best way to take care of him. With more space and the place being a former movie studio lot, there’s plenty of room to grow here. Hellboy isn’t keen on this since none of his friends are here or most of the people he knows, and that has him feeling like this is all wrong. Even worse, he is slowly seemingly coming down with an illness or something else and isn’t doing so good. There are bright moments, however, such as one of the folks that work there offering to bring him some detective books and some Lobster Johnson comics and that brightens his day. Of course, as he slowly falls to fever while sleeping that night, his mind takes all of that and plays with it in a fun way.

While this unfolds, we also get to see the fallout from the South American side in Italy for the moment as they know that they didn’t succeed in eliminating Hellboy. With a prophecy tied to them that goes back a couple of hundred years, we see how in the present that a young man named Robert that lives in the area where Hellboy is was recruited as a child as he could see the visions passed onto him by the corpse of the old priest that died ages ago. That’s made him a faithful servant in wanting to deal with the threat that he understands would destroy the world – from the limited perspective of the vision that he has, of course. So what we get is seeing him as a helpful, friendly, and good neighbor and community member that when activated is prepared to do the hard thing – and has help within the new facility that Hellboy has been moved to!

In Summary:
I always feel like an outsider when it comes to this property even though I enjoy everything I’ve read with it. Going back to the young days for Hellboy is definitely an interesting space to play in, especially when dealing with some of the darker aspects of the character and his existence, but it offers up a lot of good stuff to work with. And I really like the time period and the way the story can be told here without all the complications of the modern world. The script for this gets us up to speed quickly and with some solid character stuff to fill in what’s going on while the artwork is great as it captures both the mundanity of the day and the unreal aspect of Hellboy himself. I’m excited to see what comes next.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 20th, 2022
MSRP: $3.99