Hellboy: Being Human (one-shot)

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
I was ready to give this latest Mignola/Corben one-shot three bullets. Instead, it managed four. I look at it as a testament to how to energize an otherwise average story.

The gist of the plot -- Hellboy and Roger the Homunculus travel to South Carolina to investigate a haunting -- replicates BPRD: The Dead Remembered. Hellboy acts as catalyst to usher his fellow BPRD agent into the real world. He chooses what appears to be a simple case to have that agent dip his toe in the water.

Art not withstanding, Mignola generates a little excitement artificially by having a battle between Roger and a massive zombie. A charm conveniently renders Hellboy powerless to render aid, and that's where the mediocrity stops.

Mignola introduces a weird antagonist that's frenetically animated, a perfect character for Corben to cut loose. The reason why the charm works subtly, very subtly, alludes to current Hellboy continuity. Mignola then explores unsavory history through this character and her rationale behind her actions.

Thanks to Mignola's teaming with Corben, there's no doubt that the woman's completely off her rocker. One look at her face, and you know she has been twisted by hatred. In this way, Mignola inverts the formula he used for The Dead Remembered. You feel sorry for the alleged witch in that work. Whereas in Being Human, experience with the antagonist engenders sympathy toward her victims. What happened to her was wrong, yet the mercilessness of her vengeance demands the only ending that could have worked.

Community Discussion