Another volume of stand alone Hellboy adventures, the 11th installment in a 12 part series kicks off with Hellboy In Mexico in which he recounts to Abe Sapien about some time he spent with three Mexican wrestling brothers hunting demons. A somewhat hedonistic cycle of fighting and drinking which touches on Mayan myth.
Similar horror short stories ensue with Edgar Allan Poe inspired tales of haunted houses, undead creatures and ancient curses. Every tales ends in either hopeless tragedy or without consequence due to Hellboy’s ability to beat his enemies quite easily.
These shallow tales of the macabre, though well executed add little to Hellboy's character arc, nothing gained, nothing lost. In many cases, it doesn't seem to make sense that Hellboy would be involved in them. He’s conveniently drawn in at any location and at any point in history to serve the current situation. That is a minor concern in this type of story telling but highlights my frustration with the series overall.
The volumes which contain multiple short stories featuring Hellboy are annoying due to so much rich history being built up, that I'd hoped for something more grand toward the end of the series. Enjoyable as they are in their own right, the short stories don't fulfill as much as those such as Conqueror Worm and Strange Places are more complete stand alone works.
A last word on the artwork. The style and tone from the volumes which Mignola did himself are such an iconic point of reference that is sorely missed here.