How much praise is too much praise? Honestly, if it meant I had to say something good about Mike Mignola every day to get him to keep writing new and inventive comic books like this, I’d do it. In complete admission, when I first read Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, I was not all that impressed. I did not get the hype. But a couple years later, I gave Hellboy another try and was amazingly surprised – it was beyond the hype. And now, here I am several years later and Mignola is bringing Hellboy to a relative end – there will always be ancillary material but for now, it’s all come to a tragic end.
So what do I read when I want something new from the magical mind of Mignola but set in the Hellboy universe? Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder. Honestly, I don’t think that it’s really in the same universe. I haven’t seen any characters carry over from one title to the other yet but I’ll be damned if the possibility is not there. More importantly right now, the same aesthetic and the same level of excellence is still there. Mignola has a fine eye for setting up a universe of not just having books feel the same but also having the storytelling feel similar and yet not repetitive.
Witchfinder drops the reader into a somewhat new world. There were a couple short stories (collected again in this TPB) that appeared in previous issues of Hellboy as filler but they were just snippets, teasers of the potential in what he was seeing. With this TPB, we get the same overarching story and logical, if-tilted approach to storytelling that we see in Mignola’s other works. We also get to see his visual style and sense of reality through Ben Stenbeck’s beautiful artwork. All said and read, with Witchfinder, you get Mignola’s genius with a new cast of characters.