There's a simple purity to a big red lug with a tail that beats the hell out of Nazis and vampires with a giant stone hand. It's certainly not blowing down the doors of genius, but HELLBOY's about as much spooky fun as you can manage to squeeze into a four color page.
Hellboy is the by-product of a Nazi experiment gone awry and now operates as a field agent for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. He's an X-File that hunts other X-Files, and really doesn't care whether there's an alien conspiracy or not. WAKE THE DEVIL, the second full-length HELLBOY adventure, finds our intrepid investigator squaring off against a bunch of defrosted Nazi's who are trying to awaken a master vampire that hasn't been seen for fifty years. What he's not prepared for, though, is the vampire's mistress, a nasty piece of work whose not about to go quietly into the night.
What makes HELLBOY work is the wry wit and the moody art of Mike Mignola, the latter of which demands the unavoidable comparisons to the imaginations of Lovecraft and Poe. The faithful motion picture captured half of what he's managed to pour into these pages, but nothing quite matches up to the tales contained within.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.