Friday, April 24, 2009

Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola

Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and OthersI have read Hellboy 1, then 4, then 2, and just finished 3, because why would you want to do that chronological thing? Any hoo, Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and Others is like Hellboy 4: The Right Hand of Doom (or should that be the other way around?), where at the beginning of each section there are notes from author/illustrator, Mike Mignola, on his inspirations for the stories. I enjoyed those notes as much as I did the stories because they go into the mythology and folklore he used as the basis for the them.

The stories in this volume include The Corpse, which is adapted from the Irish folktale Teig O’Kane and the Corpse (think Changeling with a Hellboy twist). The Baba Yaga story answers the question in Hellboy 2 of how he shot her eye out. The Chained Coffin is from an English folktale where a witch has her body chained in a coffin so a demon cannot take her soul. The Wolves of Saint August is based on the Irish legend about St. Patrick curing a group of pagans to turn into wolves. The last story Almost Colossus was inspired by a Clark Ashton Smith tale, The Colossus of Ylourgne, as well as James Whale’s Frankenstein movies. Interestingly, Mr. Mignola said he was originally going to kill off Liz Sherman in this story, but then art director Glen Murakami talked him out of it.

Overall, folktales and legends intertwined with great suspense up to the end where then Hellboy just kicks major butt against some nasty demons and monsters. Oh, and there is also a Hellboy gallery at the back of the book. Good stuff.

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