Hellboy: Conqueror Worm by Mike Mignola
Cover concept by Lorenzo Princi, 2nd August 2013

Hellboy: Conqueror Worm

Author: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

Trust and sacrifice are at the core of this brilliant volume of Hellboy. In conqueror Worm, we return to the single story style as Hellboy, Roger and Laura Karnstein (of the Austrian) secret police to investigate an old Nazi spacecraft which has fallen out of orbit and soon to crash land. Before setting them on their way Tom Manning gives Hellboy are trigger and informs him that Roger has been fitted with a bomb and that should he begin to show any sign of becoming a danger to the team, he should be destroyed without hesitation. Hellboy doesn't like the idea, taking exception to the excuse that Roger can't be trusted because he's not human. Neither is he, he points out to Tom. The issue of trust, redemption and whether or not someone can escape their nature or past is central to Hellboy and this scene puts Roger in the shoes Hellboy usually wears.

The twist of course, is that Laura, the perfect human specimen is in fact the one who deceives the team. The whole plan was a trap and when the Conquering worm is unleashed and wrecking havoc Roger is prepared to sacrifice himself, leaving Hellboy with a difficult decision to make.

Conqueror Worm is perhaps the most thought provoking of the stand alone Hellboy tales in the series without skimping on some good action or breaking away from the greater continuety of the series. I wouldn't however recommend reading this one without previous knowledge of the series even though in great comic book tradition it does it's best to explain earlier references. 10 out of 10, this one delivers the best of Hellboy on all fronts, character depth, drama, supernatural action and suspense.