Chalk this one up as a win for the Hellboy movie franchise! I enjoyed both movies (and eagerly await a third, hint hint guys) so when this popped up on NetGalley, it was a no-brainer to check out.
The Midnight Circus deals with young Hellboy at the BPRD. He’s still not sure he fits in there, and one night, after overhearing Bruttenholm arguing with another man about the danger he represents, he runs away. He encounters The Midnight Circus, and from here his story parallel’s the one in Pinocchio, if Pinocchio was even more dark and twisted than the original tale. The demonic circus tries to relate his true purpose to Hellboy, and in trying to escape he gets caught up in a whale, hunted by the ghosts of child murderers, and attacked by evil circus animals.
Mike Mignola is at his creepy best here, and frequent collaborator Duncan Fegredo’s art is fantastic. He contrasts the usual stylized grimdark Hellboy style with sunnier panels from the Pinocchio tale Hellboy read. You really get to see how and why our young hero begins to see Professor Bruttenholm not just as his caretaker but a father figure. If you enjoyed the movies or other Hellboy comics, or simply like a bit of horror now again, check it out.