Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon #1
Story by: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson
Art by: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clem Robbins
Editors: Scott Allie and Katie O’Brien
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Review by Robert Coffil
With all the Hellboyverse comics and all the elaborate storylines going, one aspect rarely written about is the plurality of Hellboy’s summoning to Earth. Undoubtedly, Trevor Bruttenholm (pronounced broom) is the man who raised Hellboy and the one who Hellboy sees as a father. However, the man who summons Hellboy is Rasputin. Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon #1 is the first issue in a miniseries designed to shed light on two men who are responsible for bringing Hellboy to earth.
The Nazi’s, in particular, Hitler, had a fascination with the occult. When it comes to Hellboyverse stories set during World War 2 Mignola and Roberson really mine all that occult obsession for all its worth. Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon begins in 1937. A German soldier has found Rasputin and Rasputin tells the story of how he survived his assassination and the preternatural religion/cult that he now studies. The German Soldier convinces Rasputin to come back with him and be a part of the “1,000-year Reich”.
Conversely, the Bruttenholm portion of this story finds him working for as an Intelligence Analyst during the Blitz of the UK during 1940. Roberson and Mignola do a great job of framing this story with during WW 2 and using that as a backdrop of Bruttenholm’s story. This is the youngest we have ever seen Bruttenholm and he has all the moxy, vim and vigor that go along with that. The caution and sage wisdom that Bruttenholm has in stories that take place later in the Hellboy timeline is nowhere to be seen in this story. Trevor finds a hint of a mystery and off he goes searching for the answers.
The first art I saw of Christopher Mitten was on an Image series called Umbral written by Anthony Johnston. Since then he has joined the Hellboy universe having worked on the Black Flame origin story that came out last year. I have always enjoyed his art. Whether it is a monastery in Italy or the rustic English countryside, his establishing shots do a great job of grounding the reader in the story. His line work and storytelling is complemented by Dave Stewart who colors moodiness into every panel.
Buy! These miniseries are always a great place to jump on to the Hellboy universe. Even if you haven’t read anything else in the overarching Hellboy story, this story is written so well that you can jump right in and understand everything.