Okay, it’s been a little while, but I’m back with the next book in the Hellboy Saga, Conqueror Worm.

This is the fifth volume, and seems like the end of the first “cycle.” It’s full of Nazis, Lovecraftian monsters and everything we love about previous Hellboy stories, unlike them however, this one ends with a very different Hellboy at the end.

Conqueror Worm is the charming story of a Nazi experiment to send a capsule into space in hopes of it returning with a creature from beyond. Or something roughly like that. What we get, is as it returns 50 years later, a B.P.R.D. adventure that has Hellboy and Roger the Homunculus checking out yet another “abandoned” European castle. Only, once again, it’s full of Nazis and ghosts. Hellboy finds classic villain/head in a jar Herman von Klempt who is responsible for the returning capsule, only what is returning is something far worse than anyone could have guessed.

The Conqueror Worm, which gets it’s name from a Edgar Allen Poe poem, is a creature made to consume. If let alone it’ll bring the ruination of man and the birth of the Earth’s next dominant race. Hellboy, confronted with yet another Apocalyptic creature, cannot abide. At least this time he won’t be the direct cause though, right?

The coolest part of this story (aside from the Nazi head in a jar and the giant ectoplasmic worm) is Roger stepping up and becoming the B.P.R.D. mainstay along with 1940’s pulp hero, Nazi killer and cryptic ghost Lobster Johnson. They spend a lot of time together in this series and they get fleshed out a lot more than we’ve seen. Which is fitting, because this series came out around the same time that the B.P.R.D. began their own adventures without Hellboy that help expand his universe while also letting us see more of his supporting characters grow. This seems like Mignola playing with that idea before Hellboy steps back a bit.

Which leads us to the most significant part of this story. The ending. Hellboy makes a decision that reshaped his comics, as well as the other B.P.R.D. cast. The entire universe turns a corner here that we’re still travelling down and only recently began seeing a new corner up ahead. This is one of the neatest and tightest of all of Mignola’s multiple issue stories. The plot is narrowly focused will still reminding us of the evolving story from previous adventures without making us run to the old books and fact check. We get a solid adventure, and though the folklore/myth aspect is turned down, the Nazi super science/ Lovecraft dial is turned way up.

If you’ve been reading Hellboy, you’re obviously addicted and have read this book years ago. We’ll, you should reread it. If you haven’t this is a good book to pick up. But they all are, so if I haven’t sold you on them yet, I guess I’ll have to keep trying.