- Posted by Johanna on March 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel News
I noticed this week that Dark Horse was releasing The Storm and the Fury, the 12th volume of Hellboy by Mike Mignola.
That got me thinking. Although creator-owned, I find that this long-running title has rubbed me the wrong way the same way a corporate-owned superhero franchise does lately. I can’t keep up with the history, especially with spinoff miniseries and another sister title, BPRD. I no longer feel like I know the characters or what they want or are trying to accomplish.
This particular volume falls into another corporate comic trap, that of using death to sell books. Yes, the lead character meets his end in here, although there are always flashback stories (and that way Mignola and his increasing numbers of contributors can use Nazis more easily). That brings up another point: as the book becomes longer-running, it’s rarer to see Mignola’s contributions.
Maybe I’m trying to make more out of this than simply realizing that I’m no longer interested in these characters and their never-ending adventures. I get the feeling that this has become a brand instead of a story — or an excuse to draw cool monster fights. Good for Mignola to have this kind of established property and the success that goes with it. There’s no reason he should be chained to the same character for decades, and if other people want to get paid to play with it, good for them, too.
But I do wonder: is it possible for a comic to keep running for years, regardless of who owns it, and keep the magic it once had for its readers?