Thursday, November 7, 2019

Book Review: Hellboy Volume 5 - The Conqueror Worm

book cover for Hellboy volume 5Part two of my Halloween read, and as good as part one was, this was even better.

This volume contains the one story and there's a lot to it. The Nazis are back, and one of their experiments from the war is coming to fruition sixty years later. Hellboy and the homunculus—they named it Roger—are sent to a spooky castle somewhere high up in the Austrian Alps where said experiment was conducted and thought to be destroyed by a military expedition led by some vigilante named Lobster Johnson. Much smashing occurs.

This collection has everything: poetry samples from Poe, Lovecraftian nightmares, restless spirits of the damned, hordes of ghoulish creations, undead minions, transmogrified soldiers, subterranean lairs with steampunk machinery, and a Nazi mad scientist. What else could you want?

Ok, there's more. Hellboy has his usual witty responses to the situations he stumbles into. It's his coping mechanism. Loyalty and trust are two of his strongest traits. He's expects underhanded behavior from strangers and outright villains, but the BPRD does something to royally piss him off, and he's forced to reconsider his relationship with them.

Roger the homunculus gets plenty of screen time. There's some self-reflection on what he is and how he fits into this modern world, centuries after his creation.

This is probably my favorite of the Hellboy volumes that I've read so far.

4.5 stars


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