Mike Mignola may just be the greatest comic book writers of our generation. Volume 9 of his Hellboy series cements this into a certainty. The Wild Hunt collects the latest 8 issue arc of the same name and was nearly a year in the making.
The Wild Hunt picks up where we left Hellboy at the end of the Darkness Calls arc (Vol. 8 for those of you sticking to the trades). Hellboy is summoned to England by the Osiris club to assist in the hunting of giants who have recently decided to give up their slumber. I can’t say anymore about the plot without giving major spoilers. Needless to say, after learning some of the major revelations in the story, you’ll need a fork lift to get your jaw off the ground.
Mignola’s writing is absolutely inspired in this arc. He is not one to rush a story along and likes to keep the reader on a need-to-know basis. He uses a disjointed story telling technique that slowly peels away at what has happened to Hellboy and the pay off is immense.
Mignola had handed over the artistic reigns to Duncan Fegredo during the Darkness Calls arc and he reprises his role here. Though I am a huge fan of Mignola’s art, I really like his choice of going Fegredo with the past two arcs. Fegredo’s style lends it self to the fantastical settings that Hellyboy has been finding himself in. Mignola’s art can tend to be claustrophobic at points while Fegredo really lets the panels breath.
The Wild Hunt is a must own for all Hellboy fans. If you miss this one, you will be kicking yourself for a long time. If you have never read Hellboy before, do yourself a favor. Go and get your hands on a copy of the first volume, Seed of Destruction. I promise you, you’ll suddenly find your self in possession of all 9 volumes and begging for more.