Review - Hellboy Winter Special 2019 (@DarkHorseComics)

"That's where I saw the old man."

Having a group specifically tasked with paranormal events is always a good thing. Having a group that's been around as long as the B.P.R.D. has in Hellboy Winter Special 2019 from Dark Horse Comics is even better. "The Master's Gift" is written by Mike Magnola, illustrated by Mark Laszlo, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Clem Robins. "The Longest Night" is written by Chris Roberson, illustrated by Leila Del Duca, colored by Michelle Madsen and lettered by Robins. "The Beast of Ingelheim" is written by Scott Allie, illustrated by Andrea Mutti, colored by Lee Loughridge and lettered by Robins.

Meet a ghostly miser in an alternate reality, fear the Boogam of rural New York, and embrace the wrath of St. Hagan in this trio of occult winter tales! The familiar faces of Hellboy, Sarah Jewell, and the legendary Knights of St. Hagan will help you ring in the new year with all the shivers you can take--and not all of them from the cold!

Each of the three stories fit very nicely in the Hellboy universe. Mignola's story in "The Master's Gift" is rife with ghosts and hauntings, providing ample opportunity for Hellboy to tussle with something supernatural in an attempt to bring it peace. "The Longest Night" affords Roberson the chance to weave together more modern whodunit plot threads into a broader story rooted in mythology. Allie offers probably the most sobering of the three stories in "The Beast of Ingelheim" as the characters reconcile their religion with basic humanity. All three stories boast plenty of eerie and haunting scenarios for the characters to play around in and the writers present very straightforward and enjoyable scripts.

Laszlo renders the city (real and ethereal) in "The master's Gift" with a nod to villages of old, but the way he renders the spirit in flame is very cool (further emboldened by Stewart's colors). Del Duca tones things down a bit in "The Longest Night," offering characters who seem to be a bit more realistic in their appearance and a stark contrast to the boogum who makes an appearance; Madsen's colors are washed out in a way that's fitting for the era it's set in. Mutti does a great job illustrating the religious knights in "The Beast of Ingelheim," infusing their style with a look that seems to be rooted somewhat in history. Loughridge further exaggerates the setting by emphasizing the darkness of night via various shades of blue.

Hellboy Winter Special 2019 is a really fun, quick read that offers a look at some of the "quieter" parts of the Hellboy universe. Hellboy is in only one of the three stories, but the prevailing sentiment across the book is one of strange and paranormal. The various writers each bring their own approach to their tale, tying everything together with the aforementioned sense of the strange. The artwork in each story is different because of the variety of artists, but there's still some sense of consistency across the tales. Hellboy Winter Special 2019 is a great book to check out.

Hellboy Winter Special 2019 is available now.