In June of 2019, Dark Horse gave us Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Beast of Vargu. As written by Mike Mignola and drawn by Duncan Fegredo, it was set in 1956 in Romania and involved a chance counter with an elderly woman, her daughter, and a puppet show from Hell. Well fast forward to now and we got a follow up to the Beast of Vagru with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: Her Fatal Hour and The Sending.
Written by Mike Mignola and illustrated by first time Hellboy artist Tiernen Trevallion, it tells a tale set much later where Hellboy must repay the debt he received in the pages of the Beast of Vargru. In addition, there is a follow up tale, The Sending that gives the venerable Harry Middleton a chance to shine. That alone makes it a standout tale. But first, let’s look at Her Final Hour.
Her Fatal Hour
The tale starts with our hero doing what any overworked individual sometimes requires…he’s getting his Z’s on. It’s been over 20 years since the events of the Beast of Vagru. But it turns out that time didn’t stop for the elderly woman, Violca who had saved Hellboy’s life back then and her daughter Nadya. In fact, Nadya’s life had taken a turn for the worst since then. First, there was a chance encounter with a young man named Ferko, who appeared to be her “soul mate.” Sounds innocent enough, right? Not so fast. Her Mother had her reservations…if the word “NEVER!” means anything.
However, kids do what kids so and she continued to secretly see Ferko. Eventually, he asked her to marry him and she said yes. But once again, Violca expressed her concerns…does the word NEVER! Ring a bell? Being a dutiful daughter, that appeared to put kink in their plans. The following day, a black dog crossed the mother and daughter’s path on the way home from the village. Violca collapsed and died in three days time. At the visitation, Nadya’s persistent suitor appeared and suggested that their only obstacle was now removed. How sensitive.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t counted on Violca’s persistence as well. She sprang up from her resting place, once again to make her feelings known: NEVER!!! As it turns out, Nadya’s intended was indeed a devil. He then proclaimed that he would give Nadya ten years. After that time, at the stroke of midnight, he would return and claim what was his. Ten years goes fast and while Nadya tried to hide, she knew it would make no difference. Remembering past events, she used the Puppet of Hellboy her mother had used back then. She utilized it to bring him to her, tacking a small emblem on the puppets shoulder. This caused the puppet to replace him in his bed as the real Hellboy came to her. He would now repay the debt to her mother and now to her. And just in time.
Ferko returned looking for his bride and Hellboy did his best to object to the wedding. He did so using the axe that Nadya suggested he wield. Initially, it appeared to do no good, at least until Nadya swung it and pierced his side. From there, Hellboy went to work and chopped the Devil groom into many pieces. It was during the conflict, the tag that Nadya had attached to the puppet to summon Hellboy fell off. Once again the puppet returned and fell lifelessly to the ground as the real Hellboy awoke from his bed with his iconic, “Son of a …”
In the next story, we find Hellboy and Harry Middleton investigating a supernatural occurrence in a home. It is 1991 and a woman has reported that the library in her departed uncle’s home had been ravaged. The culprit appeared to be a mummified creature with one arm. At least that is what the man’s niece saw. Whatever it was, it apparently was looking for something amongst the books. What that possibly could be was unknown to her. Fortunately, her uncle’s butler Robert thought he might know what the “creature” had been looking for: a second, secret library.
The butler led them to the hidden library. As they walked, Harry asked Hellboy if he happened to have an iron nail handy. Just so happens. Harry asked him for the nail and they entered the room. There on the table was a book her Uncle had just brought back before he passed away. The book came from the Uncle’s last trip to Iceland.
The minute the book appeared, the creature returned, demanding it. It claimed that the book was stolen. At this point, Hellboy didn’t care. He confronted the creature as Harry looked the book over. As he read the book, he confirmed that they should not allow the creature to retain the book. That suited Hellboy.
Harry Nails it
Upon further examination, Harry asked Hellboy to remove the mummies covering to find not one but two arms. After making this affirmation, Harry then asked him to grab it by the left arm. Hellboy attempted to comply but it was not easy as the creature was a “wiggler.” Once Hellboy was able to capture his left arm, Harry produced the iron nail he was given. Isolating a single white finger bone, he jabbed the nail into the bone. Immediately, the creature disappeared in a puff of green smoke leaving behind only the finger bone and the nail. “And that’s how you do THAT!,” Harry exclaimed.
Once the hoopla was over, Harry revealed that the creature was called a Sender. It was often created by capturing the soul of an individual in a single bone. This was used to create an entire creature that would be enthralled by its creator. It’s only weakness was it’s vulnerability to iron. Which Harry exposed it to (with Hellboy assistance). So Harry saves the day and he gets a souvenir finger bone, nail included.
These were two great stories as only the creator of Hellboy can write them. As always, Mike Mignola weaves a tale with Grimm Fairy Tale qualities combined with Hellboy wit. It is also a classic example of why it’s a great idea to get on Momma’s good side when you pursuing a girl. If you don’t, they could haunt you from the grave. And when it comes to art, Tiernen Trevallion was made to draw Hellboy. One only looked at his previous work on 2000AD and Absalom to see that his skills cried to do the character. It made for a great combination along with the always solid Hellboy color skills of Dave Stewart. When combined with The Sending (and its aforementioned starring role for Harry Middleton) it made for iconic Hellboy storytelling. Makes me ready for the next Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.
If you have read the previous issue The Beast of Vagru, you will certainly enjoy Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: Her Fatal Hour and The Sending. It was released, early this month and can be found where great comics are sold. Also check out our interview with artist Tiernen Trevallion here.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.