Review: Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others

Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffins and OthersHellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Hell Boy series #3
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My Rating4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars 
First Published: February 2004, stories first published in 1998
Read from: Apr. 1-13, 2016

A Number of Very Cool Short Stories. Possibly the Best of the Hellboy Graphic Novels So Far.

This is the third Graphic Novel collection of the original Hellboy comics I have read. The second volume I didn’t like too much. I had liked it so little in fact that I had decided if the next in the series was equally disappointing, what with so much other things to read, I would move on to something else. Well, I’m glad I gave the series one more chance. I think I may have liked this volume even more than the first volume.

I think in large part this was because this volume is a collection of shorts. The graphic novel contains seven short stories: “The Corpse”, “The Iron Shoes”, “The Baba Yaga”, “A Christmas Underground”, “The Chained Coffin”, “The Wolves of Saint August”, and “Almost Colossus”.

Each story is pretty tight and while most of the stories are very simple, the focus in each makes each a more enjoyable read. And I think the art in this volume is the best of the series so far. A couple of the stories border on 5 out of 5 stars, and the last ties up one of the few interesting pieces of the story from volume two while doing a little character development (something the series rarely touches on, sadly).

I really think the Hellboy format and “world” works best in these cool little “horror story shorts”, many based on old folk tales and fairy tales. Kind of like the short stories that came out of the Hitchcock Presents or Twilight Zone franchises but with today’s comic book snark, action and visual punch. I’m not sure the rest of the volumes will follow this trend, but I liked the potential of this volume enough that I will probably read through the next volume if I can find it somewhere.

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