Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
By Art Baltazar & Franco
Hellboy created by Mike Mignola
Review by Joey Braccino
Of all the franchises in all of comicdom, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is probably one of the characters least likely to be All-Ages-ified. Falling somewhere on the spectrum between Spawn and Kick-Ass, Hellboy is most associated with pulpy grit and demonic storytelling. Needless to say, nothing about the character from his design to his weaponry to his expanded universe really suggest, “hey! Let’s reinvent this for children!!!”
Enter Art Baltazar and Franco.
The critically acclaimed duo behind Tiny Titans, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, and other All-Ages DC series brings their Sunday Strip magic to Itty Bitty Hellboy #1. A collection of six shorts featuring a pint-sized Hellboy, fumbling Nazis, and an adorably supernatural supporting cast. Frankly, any comic that centers around the conquest of cardboard box forts automatically earns my attention.
While the characters in Itty Bitty Hellboy aren’t as accessible to a wide audience like a Tiny Titans or even a KISS Kids, Baltazar and Franco’s straightforward storytelling centers around recognizable conflicts (the aforementioned cardboard box) and self-contained humor. The Hellboy universe allows for some stranger elements to weave in, but Baltazar and Franco don’t display any urgency in introducing the characters or their relationships aside from “Hey, they’re just kids! Strange, quirky children in the backyard! Enjoy!”
And enjoy I did.
Definitely worth a look for fans of Hellboy and/or anyone looking for a great All-Ages experience. Relatively continuity-free, Itty Bitty Hellboy brings the humor and the fun that its comic strip aesthetic would suggest. Art Baltazar and Franco are renowned for their work on some of DC’s most acclaimed all-ages books, and they bring all of that talent and expertise to Mike Mignola’s pulp-demon-hero!