Weird Tales - Volume One

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP: 14.99
ISBN 1 84023 783 X
Available now

In this collection of short stories spanning time, space and dimensions, and starring a legion of unforgettable characters, Mike Mignola's world of Hellboy finds its boundaries stretched by an amazing array of comics talent...

Volume One of Weird Tales sees some of the comic industry's finest creative talent come together to tell tales set in Hellboy's universe.

Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola, states in his Afterword that he didn't want to get involved with the creative process of this collection - or more correctly didn't want to interfere. He was happy to sit back and hand the power over to the talent, rather than sit on their shoulders pointing out what was acceptable and what was not. This is a move that has paid off. Instead of getting overly precious and becoming possessive of his creation, Mignola lets the various writers and artists run amok on the pages.

The collection starts off in cracking style with Midnight Cowboy, a story written and illustrated by Eric Powell (The Goon). This tells the tale of a young Hellboy and his pet dog who are snooping around the infamous hangar 7 in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

Other notable offerings include Bob Fingerman's (Beg the Question) Downtime - a twisted look at a normal day in the office at BPRD; and John Cassidy's (Captain America, Planetary) Big-Top Hellboy, which looks at what happens when a supernatural circus comes to town.

All of the stories told here are worthy of a quick read (they only last a few pages and only the most attention deficit readers will get bored.

An enjoyable collection, which will certainly appeal to Hellboy fans. It's also a good starting point for those who are unfamiliar with are red hero.

Darren Rea

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