Tripwire continues its 100 Graphic Novels You Should Read While Stuck Inside with its thirty-fifth choice, Hellboy: Conqueror Worm written and drawn by Mike Mignola, reviewed by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm
Writer/ Artist: Mike Mignola
Today’s choice Is Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, a miniseries that introduces Lobster Johnson as a supporting character. To set the scene, we have film director Guillermo del Toro’s introduction to the story reprinted here. Del Toro was a fan of Hellboy before he made the two films adapting Mignola’s vision and this is evident here.
Conqueror Worm is a classic Hellboy tale in the vein of Wake The Devil or even Seed of Destruction. Big Red fights evil Nazis who have brought something particularly nasty back from outer space and we get to see pulp hero Lobster Johnson battling alongside Hellboy and co. Conqueror Worm is about a pair of Nazis, Von Klempt and his daughter, trying to bring about another Lovecraftian apocalypse, a throwback to the Second World War and Nazi scientist Oeming. Roger the homunculus plays a fairly large role in this again and his character arc is a fairly impressive one from when we first met him.
It is a wild ride again, a slice of over the top pulp shenanigans from a creator who has really found his stride by this point. It is interesting to compare this with something more primitive like Seed of Destruction as Hellboy was a far more honed and sophisticated series by this point. Mignola had really developed as an artist and as a writer by this stage and he channels his influences while really transcending them as a creator.
There is an epilogue here with Hecate, the final fate of Rasputin and Hellboy’s destiny, which acts as a very dramatic postscript to the story. Visually as ever, Conqueror Worm has some magnificent moments with Mignola perfectly complimented by colourist Stewart. Over its 25 year history, Hellboy has added so much to modern comics and Mike Mignola’s legacy is a massive one. The Conqueror Worm is a fabulous horror adventure tale with monsters from beyond, demented Nazis and a homunculus on the side of virtue. What more do you want?
Here’s links to the other graphic novels reviewed so far