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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hellboy faces off against The Seven Wives Club in this exclusive preview

Illustration for article titled Hellboy faces off against iThe/i emSeven Wives Club/em in this exclusive preview
Image: Dark Horse Comics

In 2017, comic fans discovered an unexpected dream team when writer Mike Mignola and artist Adam Hughes released Hellboy: Krampusnacht, a holiday one-shot that showcased Hughes’ talent as a horror storyteller. Known for flashy superhero comics and sultry pin-ups, Hughes takes to Mignola’s creepy world exceptionally well, and the two reunite on November 11 for Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club. A ghost story set in 1992, The Seven Wives Club has Hellboy investigating a murder committed by one of his acquaintances: a young woman, Jane, with a passion for sneaking into haunted houses.

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Illustration for article titled Hellboy faces off against iThe/i emSeven Wives Club/em in this exclusive preview
Image: Dark Horse Comics

When one of those visits ends with her shooting her boyfriend in the head, Hellboy digs into the history of the home to find the supernatural interference and clear his friend’s name. This exclusive preview of Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club takes readers into this chilling environment, revealing how Jane was deceived by vengeful ghosts. The opening page immediately establishes a warm rapport between Hellboy and Jane, presenting Hellboy as a bright red figure to youth who can’t resist the pull of the occult.

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Hughes’ art, which he also colors, finds a happy medium between hyper-detailed photorealism and more expressive visuals that carry over Mignola’s bold graphic sensibility, with Clem Robins’ lettering serving as another visual tie to the governing Hellboy aesthetic. There’s some remarkable use of lighting and shadow to create tension in these pages, and heightening those visual elements for the flashback reinforces the reality of Jane’s current predicament. The main appeal of these books is seeing how Hughes approaches Mignola’s signature blend of the fantastic and mundane, and every page is captivating, whether he’s drawing seven floating ghosts or three people talking in a diner.

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