THE THIRD WISH #1 - 2002
Writer/Artist: Mike Mignola
Dark Horse comics
2-issue limited series
As die-hard HELLBOY fans already know, Mike Mignola is up to his ears in the upcoming HELLBOY
movie, heavily involved in consulting with writer/director Guillermo Del Toro in planning the film, which starts shooting in January. That's great news for Hellboy fans who want to
see a movie that's true to the comic; but bad news for Hellboy fans who expect a regular diet of the horned hero on their comic shop racks. Due to Mike's hectic schedule, THE THIRD WISH is going to be the last Mignola-created HELLBOY series for a while.
THE THIRD WISH tells the tale of how Hellboy is taken prisoner by a sea-demon, rendered helpless when three mermaid sisters drive a mystical nail into his head that puts him under the control of the ancient ocean
creature known as the "Bog Roosh." The mermaid's motivation
was that each would be granted a wish in return, but when the time comes
to collect, they find out the hard way that making a deal with a demon
rarely turns out well. Only one of them survives.
This issue has all the hallmarks of Mignola's previous HELLBOY
work: moody atmospherics; dark, Alex Toth-esque artwork; and Hellboy's
wry sense of humor ("Hey, giant talking fish,
fun's fun, but I've gotta go."). As a writer, Mignola's greatest
strength is his dialogue, which is ironic, because he was so insecure
about this aspect of his writing when he started out that he got John
Byrne to script the first HELLBOY
miniseries for him. Byrne wisely predicted that Mike was talented enough
to do it on his own in the future, and he was right. Each character has
a distinctive voice, one that reveals his or her personality, and gives
even grotesque, non-human monsters a real identity.
issue is mostly set-up. Hellboy himself spends it mostly watching from
the sidelines, which is a bit disappointing, but it looks like he's going
to be kicking some aquatic tail next issue, so it's not a big deal. The
biggest negative is that the series is only two issues long. I know Mignola
didn't realize this would be his last one for at least a year, but one
kind of wishes the comic-book Hellboy had gone out with more of a bang.
Oh well, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And if you read THE THIRD WISH
with a pervading sense of bittersweet, it just goes to show that Mignola's
got himself a winner. Here's hoping that, a year or two from now, Hollywood
2002 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
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