Hellboy & The B.P.R.D. - The Secret of Chesbro House #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 11, 2021

Writers: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Artist: Shawn McManus
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins

The concluding second part of the Secret of Chesbro House is a haunted house story like no other, filled with plenty of twists and turns to tell an intriguing story. It was clear from the first issue that this was no simple haunting, and here readers learn what’s really behind all of the madness at Chesbro House. There’s ghosts and demons, flashbacks to the past, evil and greed, sacrifice and tragedy. Plenty of different story beats to tell an entertaining story.

Hellboy really does shine when telling these shorter tales, and thanks to the team up of Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden to tell the story readers knew they were in for a treat before this issue began. Mignola and Golden have a long history together, primarily in the Outerverse, but it’s nice to see them working together to tell a Hellboy story as well.

There are still large parts of Hellboys story that readers have never seen, and while readers may have a beginning, middle and end to the Mignolaverse it’s always a delight having the world fleshed out even more. The challenge, of course, is managing to keep it entertaining while doing so. It would be easy to fall into the trap of stories very similar to one another, and lose that original, entertaining spark that readers have gotten used to expecting from Mignola and Hellboy. How many times have readers read about Hellboy dealing with a haunting? Somehow Mignola manages to keep this story feeling fresh and entertaining.

Shawn McManus does an excellent job with the art as well. It goes beyond managing to capture the haunted house vibe and set the tone. Even beyond the some of the fantastic ghost designs as well. The real highlights are the way he captures the characters thoughts and feelings on the page perfectly, adding an extra dimension to them and making them feel like real, human beings. It takes a lot of skill to capture what a character is thinking on the page like this. It’s the difference between watching TV with good acting, or TV with poor acting. McManus has given readers a cast of talented actors and it really shows.

Then we have Dave Stewarts colours. They always look incredible, but the setting here gives him the opportunity to use really muted colours for the most part, so the Hellboy, along with a couple of other characters and items, really stand out on the page. It looks great. And of course would it be a Hellboy story without his colours?

Any long-time reader of Hellboy knows how much fun these short stories are, and that they quite often end up being relevant to the larger Hellboy universe in weird and unexpected ways. Mignola and Golden have shown time and time again that they make an excellent pairing, and combining them with McManus’ art makes this an excellent example of the Mignolaverse that will appeal to seasoned fans as well as readers with no experience of Hellboys world.

Our Score:


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