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The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed #2

by Forrest Hollingsworth on March 29, 2017

The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed #2
Written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Paul Grist
Colored by Bill Crabtree
Lettered by Clem Robins
Publisher: Dark Horse
 
A second offering of the Visitor’s tale leaves me feeling even warmer and intrigued than the previous.

Speaking more to exactly why and how this visitor stayed (as per the book’s title), Mignola and Roberson take us through more Hellboy-adjacent observations from our alien watcher but also flesh out that character in and of itself, adding layers, interactions and motivations that feel real, like a worthwhile addition and sideline to the main Hellboy story, an adjacent tale with its own value and mediations.

It’s well written, if sometimes too obvious, kind of autopsy on the inconsistently inherent or lack-there-of goodness of man, his actions and their effects through the eyes a literal alien, a foreigner in our world, but one who finds himself tapping into that humanity, too as he can’t stop himself from interfering where needed or creating his own connections to the world and the people in it despite his attempts at impartialness.

The issue is at its strongest, like the previous, when the focus is squarely on the visitor and not Hellboy, which it does a bit more of here than the first. Allowing the visitor’s character to grow is a good, strong decision that is hampered only in this issue by the overly obvious, on-the-nose bus scene.

The art too, works here. Grist and Crabtree create a good tandem, relying on the simplicities of the best Hellboy visuals but also establishing a tone and aesthetic different enough from the more traditional Mignola stuff. Some of the scenes tread too far into simple for my taste, the armadillo fight in particular, but the overall issue has a concise, well coreographed aesthetic that I find appealing and in keeping with the rest of the universe. 

Overall, a very strong issue that establishes a real connection to our observer and offers a good, if obvious, meditation on the world he finds himself in.  
 

Our Score:

8/10

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