Review: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club
A one-shot story, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club feels like an afternoon matinee. You can grab your popcorn, relax and enjoy the story. There’s no need to think too much, it’s a simple ghost tale featuring Hellboy and his partner.
Writer Mike Mignola teams with artist Adam Hughes for a comic that honestly feels almost too short. The setup is great and the resolution fun but the comic feels like it’s missing a middle act. It just kind of “is” with a simple premise. There’s not much of a mystery or extension of the setup at all. It just delivers some ghostbusting fun mixed with solid art. And with that I both enjoyed and disliked the issue.
The comic revolves around a young woman arrested for the murder of her boyfriend. She claims it was due to the ghost of a man who murdered his seven mistresses. That ghost tale spins out into occult mystery and then the resolution. It’s that occult mystery to resolution that’s the problem.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club features an excellent setup and hook. It’s an interesting concept and could have gone in numerous directions. But, after the ball is laid up, the comic takes a quick and easy way out. It could easily have been double the length or an original graphic novel and with the extra space most likely a much stronger story.
Once inside the mysterious ghost house, it’s straight to the resolution. There are no challenges. There’s no scares. It’s pretty much the endgame at that point. Even if the scares would have been cheap or loosely tied in, they’d have added some more action. They could have also been used to make it harder for the B.P.R.D. to get to the final boss battle. As is, that’s what the comic feels like, a shop keeper setting up the story and then skipping to the boss battle.
Hughes’ art is fantastic. The art is dynamic and when the battle begins, it’s beautiful to look at. The coloring pops, the action explodes, it feels like a “pulp” adventure in a good way. Clem Robins‘ lettering adds to the fun, especially during the boss battle. “Boom” never looked so good. It’s weird to say, but the lettering added to the fun aspect of the comic.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club isn’t all that deep and a bit too quick of a read. It misses a middle act but there’s also something fun about it. If you want a comic you can pick up and enjoy without knowing and backstory, this is one to check out. But, it also feels like a comic that deserves and needs an expanded edition with a bit more of a challenge and more scares, if nothing else to see more of Hughes’ Hellboy art and Robins’ lettering.
Story: Mike Mignola Art: Adam Hughes Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read
Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review