Mike Mignola returns to writing and drawing this week with a new one-shot called Sir Edward Grey: Acheron. It’s a story that spins out of B.P.R.D. and the acts of Hellboy that changed Hell forever. Acheron can stand alone, but in many respects acts as a eulogy to the sacrifice of Hellboy and his death. It’s also a promise for more stories in 2022.
If you’re new to the Hellboy universe you probably don’t want to start here, but Mignola does a good job filling readers in as the story takes place. It opens with Sir Edward Grey aka Acheron meeting with a demon named Eligos. He’s there to fill him in and let him know his master Rasputin is dead. The story serves to show how Acheron and Eligos have evolved but also reveals how Hell has changed since its leader has been vanquished.
This book is full of ideas that are familiar but made new again, like being swallowed up by a wall, talking snakes, and Greek gods that have been repurposed for this narrative. The concept of Hell is left in an interesting state by the end, giving readers an imaginative and more hopeful vision of the fiery, awful place. Acheron is also developed and grows in this story in a surprising way.
Fans of Hellboy will enjoy how Mignola weaves the character into the narrative while not removing his status of being dead anytime soon. Through Hellboy, Mignola shows readers how this story can and will move forward.
Through retelling Hellboy’s final fight and seeing what came of angels like Plouton, Mignola crafts a story that’s filled with awe. The world of gods is inconceivable and grand on a human scale, which requires cutaways to bone men explaining things at times, adding a spot of humor. It’s not a conventional story by any means, but it feels epic and huge in scope and yet only two figures speak and spar for much of it. The humor ends up tempering the epic nature of the tale just enough to take it seriously, which is an added layer of genius when it comes to the story.
The art by Mignola, with colors by Dave Stewart, helps convey the awe-inducing nature with imagery that’s almost like it was carved from stone. Details are present, but the art is closer to Mignola’s later style of edgier shapes, be it the silhouette of a figure or tendrils of magic that spins around a character in an attack.
Stewart employs a solid color palette throughout most panels with ever so slight hue thrown in, but this adds to the solid and simple art style. He uses sickly greens and unnatural velvets to create magical energy for the story.
Letters by Clem Robins have a hand-written look and feel, giving the words more relatable energy. These characters may not be human, but the lettering and word balloon placement help convey that they are not so different from us.
Sir Edward Grey: Acheron reads like a story that has marinated in mythical tales and Greek lore for decades and is only now finally ready for comic book consumption. It’s a work that feels etched out of stone and filled with as much knowledge and history as a rock with secrets to tell. Sir Edward Grey: Acheron is a magnificently drawn one-shot rich in the mythical atmosphere that is its background.
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