HELLBOY WINTER SPECIAL 2019
The Miser’s Gift
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Márk László
Colorist: Dave Stewart
The Longest Night
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Leila del Duca
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
The Beast of Ingelheim
Writer: Scott Allie
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clem Robins
Publisher: Dark Horse
The Hellboy Winter specials are something I look forward to every year. As a huge Hellboy fan anytime a new book comes out I'm obviously pretty happy, but these specials are even better treat. I love that we get 3 little self-contained stories, that are like little dark holiday morsels. Sometimes they stories don't even have Hellboy in it and they're still really great. Since there's 3 different creative teams, I thought I would talk about each one separately.
THE MISER'S GIFT
This was my favorite of the 3 stories, and also the only one that had Hellboy in it. It starts off with Hellboy in a bar talking to 2 guys and one (the younger guy) has this mysterious coin that he got from an old guy (professor) walking down the street. The older guy, at the bar, explains that it was just an elderly man, but a ghost. The ghost of Tobok the Miser. A man who hoarded all of his gold coins and ended up dying with them in his house as it burned down.
The catch of this tale is that not only is Tobok a ghost but the street itself is. It's because of some fold in time that it was even able to appear. With not much time Hellboy helps the young man return the coin to Tobok. What at first seemed like a dark tale quickly becomes one full of heart. See Tobok is so taken aback that he was given the coin back that he began to cry. But it isn't all happy endings, the story ends and the professor gets stuck on the haunted street.
This was a tale that will stick with me awhile. I loved the simplicity of it and I always love the stories where it starts out with Hellboy in a bar.
THE LONGEST NIGHT
This one was a little different. It starts out with the mysterious murder at a house in upstate New York in the dead of Winter. Miss Jewell is the main character of this one. I didn't know about her before this since I haven't read some of the other Mignolaverse books (I know shame on me), but I did a little research to find out who she was. She's an American occultist and fellow member of The Silver Lantern Club with Sir Edward Grey.
While sitting around the fire they discuss how the man was killed with one suggesting it was the Boogam. She begins to tell us all about tale of the Braithwood Boogam. It only comes out one night a year on the Winter Solstice from sunset to sunrise. The townsfolk leave their fire lit all night to keep the creature at bay, which is why they have their fire lit this night as well. We eventually learn that it wasn't the Boogam responsible for the death. But the true murderer eventually gets their due at the hands of the terrifying creature.
I loved this tale also and it definitely makes me want to seek out some more stories starring Miss Jewell and other Mignolaverse books.
THE BEAST OF INGELHEIM
The last tale stars a priest, Johannes Von Berg. He sits at his desk and recounts his life and all the deeds past that he's haunted by. He and his brothers killed witche and their consorts, they're considered warriors of the holy. I tried to look these characters up but I couldn't find any info about them. They definitely seem interesting and would love to read more stories in the future.
The main story he counts is one where they discovered a beast and set forth to rid the town/world of the evil creature. What they discover is a man, wife and their baby, who happens to be a werewolf. The story takes an ambiguously dark turn and you can see why this man is so haunted.
This tale was brought to life by Andrea Mutti who really helped make this one of my favorite stories of all the Winter Specials. Mutti is perfect for these historical tales, just check out REBELS from Dark Horse and you'll see what I mean.
Overall, this book was exceptionally written and illustarted buy all of the creators. It's the perfect little sampler of the Mignolaverse the perfect book to read on a cold Winter day.