Hellboy, Vol. 5: Conqueror Worm by Mike Mignola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gee, I wish I'd had time to write this review sooner, because my brain can be like a sieve. I'll do my best, two weeks down the road.
It's fairly obvious that I am a big fan of Mike Mignola, so the four star rating is not unexpected. I love me some Hellboy, which sounds really strange to say, but there it is.
Hellboy faces his past head on in this fifth installment in the series. He is confronted with his identity and how others may see him as he becomes an advocate for Roger, a homunculus who is treated as much less than human by the brass at the BRPD. If they view Roger this way, then they must see Hellboy the same way. Is Hellboy more than just a demon spawn, a walking, talking weapon who can be used for the BRPD's purposes, until he outlives his usefulness? Despite the BRPD's definition of who he is, does that mean that Hellboy can't be more if he chooses?
Along with the exploration of identity, Hellboy comes face to face with a sinister Nazi plot to awaken a worm that will destroy the world. I think Hellboy and I share a true abhorrence for Nazis, and not surprising at all. This is one of the weirdest Hellboy stories thus far. Killer giant worms, Nazi undead astronauts, killer monkeys, talking heads, ghostly crimefighters from the 30s, you name it. At the core, another good volume full of Mignola's expert storytelling with its respectful nods at classic horror and weird fiction greats like Poe and Lovecraft. Hellboy is a non-human who struggles with the essential elements of humanity, and it's appreciated by this reader.
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