Batman/Hellboy/Starman #1, 2 (of 2)
[Dark Horse Comics/DC Comics $2.50 US $3.95 CAN]
Written by James Robinson Art by Mike Mignola
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Batman/Hellboy/Starman #1Generally I don’t pay much attention to inter-company crossovers. But considering this one was written by one of my favorite comic book writers, illustrated by one of my favorite artists and featured two of my must-buy characters (Hellboy and Starman) it took no convincing at all to pick up this two issue mini-series.

The story involves a group of skinhead Nazis who are using magic to call forth a Lovecraftian Elder God in the jungles of South America. Batman is drawn into the story when the skinheads kidnap Ted Knight who is a guest lecturer at the alternative energies conference organized by Wayne Industries. For those of you unfamiliar with the Starman mythos, Ted Knight is a former Starman and the current Starman’s (Jack Knight) father. Hellboy is, of course, called upon for his supernatural expertise.

Issue one’s action follows Batman and Hellboy as they seek to discover who kidnapped of Ted Knight. They eventually track the villains to an old deserted airfield. Bats and Hellboy attempt a rescue but are thwarted by the Nazi skinheads’ magic. The issue ends with Batman staying behind in Gotham to wrap up a Joker matter and Starman enters the scene.

Issue two deals with Starman and Hellboy stopping the Knights of October’s aforementioned sinister plan and rescuing Ted Knight.

This mini was a quick read but full of good characterization and beautiful artwork. Robinson handles Batman a little less severely than a lot of writers—he actually gets to have a sense of humor and isn’t always scowling at everyone. Robinson also has a solid take on Hellboy and I for one wouldn’t mind seeing him pen more Hellboy tales. Since Robinson currently writes Starman for DC and has since its inception his take on Starman is what you would expect—just the right touch of attitude and competence.

I know some people hate to see Mignola draw mainstream super-heroes but not me. I just hate to see him on a project that doesn’t put his heavy inking and moody artwork to good use. Which, by the way, you absolutely do not have to worry about with this mini. Mignola is in fine form and fans of all three characters would be hard pressed to complain about the way the characters are depicted. But then I’m a fan of his work so I’m going to be biased.

Batman/Hellboy/Starman should still be available so check with your local retailer first but if you have no luck there try ordering direct from Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222. or try their web site at www.dhorse.com. The DC Comics web site should also have information on this series: www.dccomics.com.