Skip to Content

Hellboy The Midnight Circus is a Great Jumping On Point for New Fans

Hellboy The Midnight Circus is a Great Jumping On Point for New Fans
Hellboy: Midnight Circushellboy cover
Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Duncan Fegredo
Colors by Dave Stewart
Cover by Mike Mignola
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus is a flashback tale and if this is your first Hellboy title after seeing the excellent movies then dive right in. You will not be disappointed.

Young Hellboy plays truant for the night, busting out of the BPRD to enjoy a sneaky cigarette and have a little sulk about the otherwise very accepting agents of the bureau remarking on him being a kid. Things take a decidedly odd turn when a clown – out of place and creepy from the moment you see him – leads young Hellboy away to the site of a travelling circus which quite quickly reveals itself to not be all that it seems.

Echoing key elements of the story of Pinocchio, the main thrust of ‘Hellboy: Midnight Circus’ deals with Hellboy’s own struggle for identity between worlds. A particularly stand out panel shows Hellboy witnessing himself age through a twisted hall of mirrors. His eventual depiction as the big bad everyone fears he will be sits perfectly as a counter to the quite cute youngster he is shown as being throughout the rest of the book. In terms of contrast, the contrast between the real world and the world conjured up the circus is handled brilliantly by Duncan Fegredo. It is unsettling and creepy, which is exactly what it should be. This really is a beautiful book.


It is quite a sad story, as we are reminded of all that is going against Hellboy ever actually being just a boy. With all that is stacked against him, be it prophecy or the denizens of Hell dogging his every step the whole thing looks pretty hopeless. Turns out Pinocchio had it easy.

All that Hellboy has going for him is Professor Bruttenholm and it is the scenes they share, in particular the closing panel, that really strike a chord. The final image, despite depicting a red demon, is every bit an image of caring father and loving child. It is a wonderful close to an excellent story. If Hellboy: Midnight Circus is anything to go by then all that can be said is:

More young Hellboy, please.