Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CBR Ghost/Hellboy


Before having a look at Ghost's new modern series, let's have a look at her unlikely team-ups first!

Like this series? Check out these following Ghost-related reviews:

Comic title: Ghost/Hellboy Special 
Art by Scott Benefiel & Jason Rodriguez      
Story & layouts by Mike Mignola

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 1996
Lineup Ghost, Hellboy series
Format: Limited deluxe-sized special issue collecting the 2-issue mini-series Ghost/Hellboy.

One of those rare occasions in which Mike Mignola's Hellboy crossed over other Dark Horse Comics titles, Ghost/Hellboy is a team-up between "Red" and the Eric Luke-created Ghost character which usually occupied Dark Horse very own "Comics' Greatest World" line of superhero characters.

Which means this crossover pretty simple and basic in its overall appearance also sort of attempted to connect Hellboy with Dark Horse's large universe, without it being too intrusive or out-of-character for Hellboy.

From Ghost's perspective, the story takes place around her 2nd Omnibus. Before she got too used to hanging around others, or have a huge rogue gallery of her own, before all the later revelations regarding what she really is..

It all begins in Arcadia, in 1939. After a sordid murder, a mob boss has a supernatural expert come to appease a spirit which he can't stop from laughing inside his head. He still hears a voice in his mind. To get rid of any possible word out of this affair, he has the spiritual guide also killed and sealed off in the building.

Several decades later, this was another tragic pointless death forgotten amongst the many skeletons in Arcadia's closet.

Stories of a ghost in this town have been getting to the outside world.

When the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (the B.P.R.D.) heard about a supposedly ghost in Arcadia, killing people off, armed with pair of .45 automatics, who else would they send on the seen but the"world's greatest paranormal investigator"!

Hellboy arrives on the scene with BPRD resident psychic Josephine T. Gant.

Hellboy finds and locate Elisa Cameron, aka Ghost. Both heroes turn against each other, and find the resting place of the murder that took place in the 1930s.

Meanwhile our heroine Ghost still trying to figure out her death gets visions of someone (or something?) named "Peace". Peace is offering her salvation and some answers if she is able to get Hellboy's "Right Hand of Doom". Why? Not sure.. But all this occult and paranormal sure seems tied with her own condition.

Ghost is able to trick Hellboy thanks to her phasing abilities.

She delivers him to Peace on his astral plane... only to find out he lied to her all along! He is actually Alal the Destroyer of Worlds!

Our heroes must team-up to face this threat! Who or what is this guy!?

Ghost/Hellboy is one of these rare spinoff titles Mike Mignola himself actually worked on.

Besides writing the book, he also did the rough breakdowns of the entire story by making thumbnails of the layout with clear indications of the light/dark contrasts for Jason Rodriguez inking.

Basically the artist, Scott Benefiel, only had to redraw those pages larger and a bit more detailed!

It helps this special mantain the usual traditional Hellboy defining look and atmosphere. Which makes this little crossover that much more "official" and better in terms of quality the series used its readers to.

It's a fun little story that perfectly meshes both these character into a story that doesn't come off out of place. Mignola did a great voice for Ghost, he really captured her fear of others due to her condition.

This story was later briefly mentioned in a later Ghost issue, making it "canon" to her series.

This "deluxe" special issue collects both issues of this crossover, with some light bonus content in the form of a two page sketchbook. Presenting the new characters design and some of the thumbnail pages from Mignola - it's a pleasure to look at, those almost look like the final work!

It's not much bonus per say to go around, but a nice move from Dark Horse.

Overall, It's a pretty good and fun crossover. It doesn't add much to either series, but comes off naturally and not out of character to both Hellboy and Ghost.

Plus it's a fun story perfectly in-character from either perspective! (X even gets a cameo!)

If only most crossovers could retain this kind of quality.

It also was collected in a later Hellboy crossovers collection.

I give it:
2 / 3 FlamingCarrots!

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