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"Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Beast of Vargu" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Hellboy Bprd Beast Vargu 00

Written by Mike Mignola
Illustrated by Duncan Fegredo
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 19th, 2019

Review:

Hellboy's adventures with the B.P.R.D. took him all over the world. The Beast of Vargu takes him to Romania in 1962, where something has been snatching people in the Carpathian Mountains. The locals won't go near Castle Vargu, claiming that place belongs to the devil. That seems like a pretty good place to look for a monster.

The pacing in Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Beast of Vargu is incredible. Writer Mike Mignola has a talent for pulling you in in these quiet moments and then scaring the crap out of you with a burst of supernatural action. Hellboy is all alone, so it's not like he has anyone to talk to. This makes his investigation a quiet one as he walks through the abandoned castle grounds.

Although this takes place during the day, it still has an eerie tone. Colorist Dave Stewart fills the sky with fiery oranges and reds, like it's the sunset and Hellboy has a limited time before night falls. The bright red of Hellboy's body stands out in this environment, like an explosion of energy in this otherwise sleepy castle.

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All is not what it seems in The Beast of Vargu as we dig deeper into the story. Hellboy lives in a world of magic and demons. Sometimes these are explained with long histories. Other times things just happen and you instantly understand what's going on without the need for long exposition. This one-shot falls squarely in the latter, positioned in such a way that just makes sense.

Artist Duncan Fegredo fills this book with an insane amount of detail, from the individual bricks in the castle to Hellboy's torn and tattered trenchcoat. Where Fegredo really excels is the fight choreography. Hellboy's battle with the monster is incredible. It's a pulse-pounding action sequence that has a story to it. You can see our hero get the upper hand for a moment before getting knocked down with a devastating blow. If this was a boxing match, he'd be up against the ropes getting battered. It's a great scene that fills you with excitement.

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Click images to enlarge

The dialogue in this sequence is used sparingly, but to great effect. Letterer Clem Robins makes the few words Hellboy utters in this battle stand out in their desperation. He's fought all kinds of monsters before, but this one is giving him a run for his money. This is matched by the unsettling roar of the beast as it descends upon him.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Beast of Vargu is another solid supernatural adventure. Hellboy's history is long and storied, but more importantly, it's not fully explored yet. This allows for these smaller tidbits to pop up every now and then to further the character's legacy and remind us of how awesome he is. It makes you wish Hellboy would run forever.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Hellboy Bprd Beast Vargu Small
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Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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