Art by: Mike Mignola
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Pat Brosseau
Professor Trevor Bruttenholm has sent Hellboy to Norway, to aid a friend with some research on a ghostly figure of a fallen king. King Vold has been heard but very rarely seen, but he is said to grant rewards to beings who help him. Sounds tempting right?
When King Vold, the flying huntsman, appears before Professor Edmond Aickman, he tasks the human with looking after one of his hounds, but when Hellboy steps in to warn the Professor of his mistake, the hound reveals itself as the spirit of a Viking Berserker, who attacks and is able to knock Hellboy unconscious, whilst Professor Aickman soon learns that King Vold’s rewards aren’t all they appear to be.
Hellboy’s lore spans the world over so having him face a Viking-themed opponent is not foreign to the comics in the Mignolaverse. It is however one of the first ones I’ve read and I would love to have a longer story involving King Vold. He appears in the Hellboy story ‘The Fury’ but is not seen much after that as it is presumed he is dead (again).
The idea of a wolf turned werewolf, turned man is a great concept that fits with the beliefs of the Viking Berserkers who believed that by wearing the fur of animals like wolves, they would obtain their power to be used in battle. They were fierce, powerful warriors who were feared by all, and Hellboy being defeated by this ghostly beast proves that he’s not the toughest being in the universe and that sometimes he does lose, a lesson not often seen in comics as most heroes are ridiculously overpowered characters who never lose. However, as far as I’m aware, Hellboy is pretty much invincible, but that doesn’t stop him from getting an ass-whooping from time to time. He can still be beaten to a pulp.
With the art and colors being done by the same team as the previous story, please refer to my review of The Nature of the Beast for my comments on the art style.
King Vold seems like an interesting character who I’d love to know more about, and any Hellboy stories set in Norway or other Scandinavian lands are always going to be intriguing, to say the least. Sticking with the theme of simple yet effective plots, this is yet another quick story that delivers all the Hellboy goodness you need, even if Hellboy doesn’t exactly win.