Review: Koshchei the Deathless #1

Sent to kill Hellboy by the Baba Yaga in Darkness Calls, Koshchei the Deathless hinted at a long and tragic life before being enslaved to the Russian witch. Now Koshchei relives every horrible act on his road to immortality and beyond, with none other than Hellboy himself–in Hell.

Mike Mignola returns to Hell and to the bizarre folklore that’s filled some of his greatest books, reuniting with one of his favorite collaborators, Ben Stenbeck.

The history of Koshchei begins to be revealed in Koshchei the Deathless #1. The first issue shows the bloody and violent nature of his life as an unkillable soldier and how that came to be. We also get glimpses of his brief happy moments as the husband of a princess, of a land unknown. The happiness is brief as he is killed but that also emphasizes the tragedy of it all. The tragedy leads to the tragedy and bloody path of his future actions.

Like most things set in the Mignola-verse, there is a proper sense of darkness in the story, that is reflected in the art by Ben Stenbeck. Stenbeck mixes in some images to hint at the historical aspect of it all along with the fantastical elements of the Mingola Hellboy world.

The first issue is a fantastic one adding another layer to the Hellboy universe and as usual mixes the fantastical and the grounded for a perfect mix.

Story: Mike Mignola Art: Ben Stenbeck
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review