Writer: Mike Mignola
Artists: Duncan Fegredo, Dave Stewart(c)
Publisher: Dark Horse
The Big Bad Baba Yaga sends one of her supernatural hitmen to off Hellboy, but Hellboy has friends, as well as enemies, in high places. Hellboy still tries to find a way out of the Baba Yaga's snowy realm, but he must continue to fight these lunatics with their plans for him. It's other people's plans that got him into this mess.
Fight though Hellboy does and in an exciting knight-clashing fashion by Duncan Fegredo. If we can't have Mignola on the artwork, Fegredo will do nicely. He's one of the few artists that fosters a smooth synergy with Mignola, and while his painted work looks much different, as a pen and ink man, Fegredo's style bears striking similarity to that of Hellboy's creator. Though, Fegredo's art is more detailed--evident in for example the flying clatter strewn during the duel.
Mignola instills comedy with the backdrop and the dialogue of the bystander watching the bout. The threat of the hitman is offset by Hellboy's gruff nonchalant air, and it changes to blood red anger when facing him for the finale.
Things seem to look up for Hellboy when a patron reveals herself, but Mignola doesn't opt for an easy exit, and he chooses to employ one of the dramatic licenses that horror is known for. Dave Stewart at this point foreshadows what's to come by diverting from the usual color schemes.
On the surface Call to Darkness is a simple story with the characters trying to achieve simple needs. Hellboy wants out. Baba Yaga wants payback. Her eternal hitman wants to die. Under Fegredo's line work and dark shadows, Mignola adds outré twists that are based on Russian folklore. He relates fables within an action-oriented confrontation and breathes new life into ancient myth while giving Hellboy something to hit.
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