Hellboy in Mexico by Mike Mignola (writer) & various artists
“Hellboy in Mexico, or A Drunken Blur” is a funny story about Hellboy’s lost five months in Mexico drinking and wrestling. The story starts in 1982 with Hellboy and Abe Sapien in Mexico together. Abe Sapien finds an old wrestling poster showing Hellboy with three other wrestlers. Hellboy tells him that it was from 1956. Hellboy then tells Abe the story of how he met the three wrestling brothers who were also monster hunters. Hellboy joined the brothers to fight monsters during the day and party at night. Then one night one of the brothers is taken by the vampires, and Hellboy goes in search of his lost friend. The story takes a strange turn once they locate the lost brother. Oh, yes, and there’s plenty of wrestling action.
After the first story, there is a series of relatively short stories. “Hellboy Versus the Aztec Mummy” is mainly a fight scene mood piece. There is not much to it, though it is a fun read. In “Hellboy Gets Married,” a drunken Hellboy, drinking with a Mexican wrestler pal, is captivated by a beautiful woman traveling with a band of street musicians. Hellboy needs to be more careful in the future before saying, “I do.” In “The Coffin Man,” with art by twin brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Hellboy helps out a little girl whose dead uncle has been taken away by a brujo, or witch. Hellboy doesn’t come out of this fight unscathed, but at least he gets a rematch. Each brother took turns illustrating one of the two confrontations.
“House of the Living Dead” is illustrated by Richard Corben, though Mike Mignola originally planned to illustrate the story himself. This story, like the others, takes place in 1956 during Hellboy’s drunken visit to Mexico. We find out what Hellboy ended up doing that he wouldn’t reveal to Abe Sapien in “Hellboy in Mexico, or a Drunken Blur.” Hellboy becomes a pro wrestler on the circuit in Mexico. Eventually, he is forced into fighting Frankenstein’s monster, and that fight sequence is what led Mignola to eventually write the fantastic series Frankenstein Underground. Though the story is mostly action, the end is a serious one with Hellboy forced to face two of his failures in saving lives.
Overall, this is a good, but not great collection. It is certainly not the place to start if you’ve never read Hellboy before. Other than the thoughtful ending of “The House of the Living Dead,” the stories are mainly fight sequences (though many will claim that all Hellboy books are mainly fight scences). However, if you are a Hellboy fan, you won’t want to miss this volume.