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Hellboy: The Midnight Circus (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/11/5
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Young Hellboy runs away from the B.P.R.D. only to stumble upon a weird and fantastical circus and the few demons from Hell who inhabit it.
* Cover and story by Mike Mignola!
* Duncan Fegredo returns!
* An original graphic novel in hardcover!
"In the world of Hellboy; the stony hand that Hellboy uses to clobber opponents is called the Right Hand of Doom. For cartoonist and creator Mike Mignola; his right-hand man for doing Hellboy these days could be considered Duncan Fegredo." —Newsarama
The story provides an interesting reflection on Hellboy as seen through the story of Pinocchio. Hellboy discusses the plot of Pinocchio with the circus ring master which brings to mind Hellboy's own desire to be a regular human. Professor Broom, his foster father, wants to give Hellboy as much of a normal childhood as he can have. Others (both humans at the B.P.R.D. and demons at the circus) are concerned about Hellboy's fated role. Is he the harbinger of destruction or even the destroyer himself? It's a mystery that still hasn't been solved, though clearly the older Hellboy in the other stories resists what others tell him is his fate.
The story here is interesting though the young Hellboy is mostly passive in the second half of the story. He is just a kid after all...no need to make him grow up too soon. The book is enjoyable but it does seem like it is little more than a single-issue comic released in a hard-cover format at hard-cover prices.
Sample quote--Mike Mignola's dedication of the book:
For Carlo Collodi, who taught me everything I know about what a puppet should be. And for Ray Bradbury, who confirmed my worst fears about the circus.
The comic also borrows elements of the story of “Pinocchio”, which is explicitly referenced in the story line.
The comic is well-written and drawn. Those who don’t like it will likely find their dislike rooted in the comic’s ending. The title character doesn’t have a great deal of agency—i.e. he has little influence on the resolution of the story arc. That said, given that Hellboy is a boy in this issue and that his upbringing as a human boy by the Professor is credited with his ability to refrain from regression to his demon-like nature, there’s not a lot that he could probably do without straining credulity.
I enjoyed this book.
Definitely worth a read. Worth the $13.00 I paid for it in hardcover, and such a short tale? I don't know.