If you would have told me that you could take the classic Dark Horse Comics' Hellboy title and turn it into a fun, kid friendly comic series... well I would have probably given you the name of a good psychiatrist because you were obviously delusional and maybe even a little bit dangerous. Hellboy is after all a cigar smoking, big gun shooting and monster evil battling demon. Demons and kids stories usually don't make it to prime time. Yet here I am, not only reading it for a review, but it is an issue #3 of all things. Means they already have two in the can. And after reading #3, I believe that it is safe to say that it should have some more issues on the way, hopefully more than the two remaining as this arc currently is supposed to be a five issue series. It quite simply is adorable! Now I never thought I would ever and I mean ever use the word "adorable" to describe anything about a Hellboy title as its dealings, though witty and fun, typically are pretty intense and concern wonderfully dark and macabre things. That said, I must say that Itty Bitty Hellboy nailed it on so many levels to make it suitable for a young audience. Using "adorable" to describe it is very fitting here. The story has everything going for it that a young child will love. And an adult, especially one which is a fan of Hellboy, they too will be able to enjoy and share this title that in the past, someone would have called social services on them if they did such an endangering thing as to share Hellboy with their young ones.
With the story, everybody is here...Hellboy, Abe, Liz, Roger, et. al, and some of the baddies too with Baba Yaga being prominent in this issue (love her pail). There is intrigue, drama, adventure, and lots of pancakes. Even though the plot is fairly intense (as the gang must deal with a "relocation" to a not so desirable place), I found the story to be very age appropriate and it may even help kids deal with fears that they would have in reading the more adult version if this title.
All the characters are very innocently drawn and likable, even the evil ones, with the plot line being entertaining enough for kids and adults. The guys behind Aw Yeah Comics are responsible for this and I can think of no better group of people as they have been down this path before with kiddie comics. This is the type of comic that the "cool" parents would present to their kids to read...And it works! It really works!
Reading the letters at the end of the story and seeing all of the artistic renderings presented by kids, it becomes obvious that the ladies and gentlemen of Dark Horse Comics are really onto something. They are inspiring a whole new generation to one of its most beloved franchises and in the process; they are inspiring the youth to develop their own skills that may in the future help them to become aspiring writers of their own. For this, I applaud them. Likewise, I applaud writer/artist Art Baltazar and Franco for their loyalty to the brand and in making a youth oriented book in the style of Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures that stays true to its source. I highly recommend this book, especially if you have young children. Rock on guys, rock on.
Writers: Art Baltazar and Franco Artist: Art Baltazar Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/30/13