Review: Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil

Published on November 19th, 2010

Hellboy is one of my favorite comic books of all time so whenever there is a new book starring this demonic character I get really excited and it’s always one of the first books I read. This month Dark Horse released Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil and like every other Hellboy book this one did not fail to entertain me. From the title you can figure that this comic contains two Hellboy stories both written by Mike Mignola and drawn by Richard Corben.

hellboy2evilThe book starts with an old and abandoned movie theater with a very small audience who are watching Hellboy’s adventures and immediately goes to the first story entitled: Sullivan’s Reward. This story takes place in Kansas in the 1960’s where a Mr. Sullivan is meeting Hellboy in a diner because his house has been making him kill people. After a brief discussion we find out that Mr. Sullivan was an alcoholic that was given the key and deed to a house by a strange man who did not give his identity. Having nowhere else to go Mr. Sullivan goes to live in the house, and in one particular room finds the remains of some unknown person, and then finds three gold coins on the staircase and decides to bury the skeleton in the back yard. That night Mr. Sullivan is plagued by strange dreams and the next day he lures an old woman into the house and then into the room. He locks the woman in the room and then hears a scream and finds three new gold coins on the staircase. Mr. Sullivan explains that he’s been doing this for years and must have at least forty bodies buried in his yard. He tries to explain to Hellboy that the house makes him do it, so Hellboy agrees to come to the house and investigate. Hellboy enters the room and of course Mr. Sullivan tries to lock him in the room. While Hellboy is facing off against the horrors inside, Mr. Sullivan runs to the staircase to see what the house rewards him for bringing in Hellboy, and sure enough the reward is far greater than he could have hoped. Mr. Sullivan is then crushed to death by an avalanche of gold coins. Hellboy then smashes his way through the house until he finds its heart and stabs it with a wooden steak which destroys the house and the evil that lived there.

We are then brought back to the old movie theater and find the audience is made up of rotting corpses and we are now brought to the second story The House of Sebek. This story is only a few pages long and it involves Hellboy attempting to rescue a woman in a museum from a crazy man who has made an alliance with an Egyptian God. Fortunately for Hellboy it’s not much of a fight because when the man runs away from Hellboy into a dark room he prays to his God to help him, but he did it in a rival God’s tomb. So the rival God, feeling offended to see his rival’s worshiper decides to eat the man’s head. The book ends in the movie theater with the corpses clapping after enjoying their double-feature.

One of the things I love about Hellboy is that he’s been a paranormal investigator since the 1950’s so no matter what’s going on or been happening with Hellboy there’s always time for some unknown story in Hellboy’s history. I love these little one shot books where Hellboy isn’t out to save the world, but just working on a routine investigation. I’m sure these two stories are based on an old folk legends that Mignola came across and decided to re-write them involving Hellboy which is always fun, and makes for a good read. I’m still torn on Richard Corben’s art, who also did the Hellboy story, The Crooked Man, another great Hellboy story. I like how Corben draws Hellboy, and he can draw some crazy looking people, but when he draws a normal person who isn’t possessed or crazy, I think they just look weird. I really liked this comic and I recomend it to anyone who wants to read a Hellboy book even if they don’t keep up on the regular storyline.

Ken Zeider