sherkahn: (Apu)
[personal profile] sherkahn posting in [community profile] scans_daily
As usual, the creators at DarkHorse for this project deliver a sharp tight story with good art, great characterization with real emotion, drama, risk and danger and a good pay off. And the addition of Hellboy and his universe to it just spices it up more for Halloween.

Just good old fashioned fun.

Spoilers behind the cut.



From the preview, an old stray dog seems to have found Hellboy after on of his adventures and leads him to make contact with the Beasts of Burden team. They are investigating the disappearances of cats at an old train tunnel. One of the abandoned train carts has been used by teens shenanigans and for some magic.

And there are signs of rats.

There is a magically sealed door into the hill that Hellboy breaks through and leads to an old hidden chamber from the train into the hill. Within the hill more signs of teenagers and magic rituals. And more dead rats. A trap is sprung and the graveyard skulls aligning the dirt walls of the buried chamber turn into skull golems, also seen in previous issues.

Whitey is caught and taken within the dirt, and an evil voice leads into a nearby antechamber. There, they confront the girlfriend of the Warlock from Beasts of Burden #4. She didn't make it in time to resurrect the guy (who is now only a talking skull animated by the blood of others), but now she is there and bringing him back one more time.

And she has help with the Skull Golems from #4 and the Rats from #3. She is planning a final sacrifice to bring back her boyfriend... and then offers her own blood to the service. The whole place begins to come down on them, but Pug hangs back to trade insults with the villain from #4.

Hellboy and the Wise Dogs barely escape the crumbling tunnels, with Pug in tow with the villain's spell book. Then narrowly survive the swarming of the rat armada (thanks to a magical team up of Hellboy and the Witch Cat to ignite the army).

Everyone thinks that they are safe and clear now that they are back in the sunlight....

The climax





Having won the day, Hellboy sees the grey dog from the preview... who leads him back to the other side of the clearing through magic, back to his starting point as if he had never left, with the spell book in his care.

And Pug, his greatest critic when at the beginning of this adventure, now heartbreakingly waits like a loyal dog to his new dear friend.


And the secret of the grey dog in the beginning is told, he is one of the Elder Wise Dogs, using Fetch magic to summon a champion from untold distances and keep him there, as he had previously summond Lobster Johnson to deal with another warlock. But his age was too old and he could not keep Hellboy within Burden Hill long enough to solve the mystery of the power drawing evil to Burden Hill.

And now the Beasts of Burden Hill are truly on their own.


Again, short, sweet, with spot on characterizations with great art for watercolor. It furthers the Beasts of Burden story, too.
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