ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 - But Why Tho?

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 is written by Mike Mignola and Thomas Sniegoski, illustrated by Craig Rosseau, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Clem Robbins. It is published by Dark Horse Comics. In 1947, a pre-teen Hellboy and Professor Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm embark on a journey to a South American dig site. However, an assassination attempt by a religious zealot leads the plane to crash near a strange island leaving Hellboy and Broom to face its even stranger inhabitants.

Mignola and Sniegoski had previously worked together on the novel Grim Death and Joe the Electrocuted Criminal, and Mignola has said that The Hidden Land is based on conversations that he had with Sniegoski and Rosseau at a convention. The end result is a rather unique read, as it continues the genre-blending that has defined the Hellboy universe. It feels like everyone in the creative team is fully in sync with one another—which is a great feeling to have.

A large part of why the story works is Mignola and Sniegoski’s script. As the title indicates, this is a younger Hellboy who is far from the gun-slinging, cigar-chomping paranormal investigator fans know and love. He’s easily excitable, into comics and adventure films, and panics when confronted with a plane crash and giant monsters. Professor Broom continues to be the kind and patient father figure, albeit a bit younger. Broom and Hellboy’s relationship has always been a highlight of the Hellboy universe and I’m glad to see it touched on here, especially by Hellboy’s creator.

The second half of what makes this comic pop is Rosseau’s artwork and Stewart’s colors. Rosseau manages to perfectly replicate the design of Mignola’s world, yet still puts his own spin on it by outlining everything with bold black lines. Rosseau also gets to design several new creatures, including a school of gigantic crabs and huge, apelike beasts. Hellboy himself sports large, curling horns and a wiry body, again, a far cry from the stumps and muscles he’ll sport in later years. Stewart’s color palette is bright and eye-catching, from Hellboy’s bright red skin to the midnight black fur of the

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 feels like a delightful throwback to globe-trotting adventure films, mixed with the supernatural elements that have come to define the Hellboy mythos. It’s also easily accessible to new readers and a deeper exploration of Hellboy’s life for longtime fans.

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1
5

TL;DR

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 feels like a delightful throwback to globe-trotting adventure films, mixed with the supernatural elements that have come to define the Hellboy mythos. It’s also easily accessible to new readers and a deeper exploration of Hellboy’s life for longtime fans.