I am a Hellboy fangirl. This is fairly common knowledge. That said, Hellboy: The Midnight Circus may be one of the best Hellboy stories I’ve ever read. Taking place in 1948 at BPRD HQ in Connecticut, a young Hellboy runs away, frustrated (as kids get) with the grown-ups. He stumbles upon a strange and creepy circus that seems to appear from nowhere, incanted into existence by a clown and giant who paraphrase Lord Byron.
Hellboy meets a demoness and a gentleman that we assume to be a demon in human form, who proceeds to talk to him about the story of Pinocchio, drawing parallels between the puppet who wanted to be a real boy and the young demon who wants to fit in with his human companions and be a good son to his human father.
The Midnight Circus touches on storylines familiar to Hellboy fans: set against the background of the macabre circus, the sinister demons discuss about their plans for young Hellboy, calling to mind Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil (also the basis for the first Hellboy movie); there is also a tense exchange between Hellboy’s adopted father, Trevor Bruttenholm, and another BPRD agent concerning the safety and wisdom of raising Hellboy.
Mike Mignola has been writing Hellboy for so long, that it’s got to be second nature to him by now. The dialogue flows easily and the story unfurls naturally. I just didn’t want it to end. Duncan Fegredo’s art is moody and wonderful. I loved the unsettling feel of the circus coming into being, the participants taking part in a procession that seemed to grow not only in size, but in its chaos; it evoked a feeling of near panic in me as it whipped itself into a frenzy. The Pinocchio story hits viscerally – to give any more background wouldn’t be fair, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Hellboy: Midnight Circus will be a hardcover, hitting stores in October, and it’s a must-get. 5 out of 5.
HELLBOY: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: Oct. 23, 2013
Diamond ID: JUN130031