You should probably be reading Hellboy right now

One of the coolest and most fun comic books on the stands is Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.  Like a milkshake made of classic pulp fiction, a thick encyclopedia of world mythology and folklore, Jack Kirby and Albrecht Durer, it is a savory blend of all the things I love.  In one issue, the Daoine Sidhe somberly contemplate their passage from the world of men.  In another, Hellboy has a massive fistfight with a cyborg gorilla built by a Nazi mad scientist head in a jar.

And if you aren’t reading it, you probably should be.

The Wild Hunt is the story currently being told in the ongoing comic book series, the third chapter of which came out this week.  It’s a story about the last great rising of the Old People, and the possible culmination of Hellboy’s destiny as  the harbinger of the apocalypse and bearer of the Right Hand of Doom.

Hellboy is one of the best comic book characters to be created in the last thirty years or so.  For lo, he is borne of many disparate elements.

His mother was a noble lady who dabbled in black magic.  His father is one of the great lords in the Heirarchy of Hell.  He was concieved on Earth, born in Hell, and brought back into this world by a ritual combining dark sorceries with Nazi supertech in order to unleash the gods of chaos and bring about the destruction of the world.

This did not go as planned.

He was instead adopted by a brilliant young occultist and raised among hard-bitten American GIs on a secret base.  His adoptive father brought him up to be a good boy (though with a mischievous streak that led to some near-disastrous incidents involving alien corpses that in turn led to him being forbidden to watch cowboy-themed programming on television), and while he was never as studious as the good Professor might have wished, Hellboy followed in his father’s footsteps bumping back against the things in the night.

Now, right now, he must lead an army to war against the one raised by the reborn Queen of Witches, who seeks vengeance upon mortal man.  His good intentions may yet bring about the apocalypse.

The King of the Daoine Sidhe is dead.  Giants walk the Earth.  Short-sighted men decided it would be a good idea to ram an exploding lance right through Hellboy and blow him up, and now things are getting really ugly.

Myth, legend, history and pulp fiction, it’s all coming together right now.  Our best hope is a regular joe with red skin and horns, who once wore the Crown of the Apocalypse upon his brow.

Ah, crap.

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