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Hellboy Goes Along For a Dark Journey Through the Woods in Crooked Man

Welcome to 31 Days of Horror Comics, where I will spotlight some of the best horror comics around, as chosen by a bunch of my favorite horror comic writers and artists around!

Today's creator is Riley Rossmo. I first got into Rossmo's work on the horror adjacent comic book series, Proof, which he did with writer Alec Grecian, where a sasquatch helps hunt down other monsters. However, since then, Rossmo has done a number of great straight horror series, like Green Wake...

and Rebel Blood...

Riley's choice is Hellboy: The Crooked Man by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben. Riley explains, "Hellboy: Crooked man is probably one of the scariest comics I've ever read. The images really stuck with me."

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Crooked Man sees Hellboy head into Appalachian country in the 1950s to deal with a witching. While there, he meets a man, Tom Ferrell, who grew up in the area and wants to help with the case. They travel to the home of the suspected witch, Cora Fisher, and discover in her cabin her demon familiar, trapped in a bottle, and her own shed skin...

Super creepy, right?

Tom then explains to Hellboy how he met the devil when he was a boy...

A young girl named Effie Kolb got him into the occult and he fashioned a magical cat's bone. Then the Crooked Man came for the cat's bone...

What a great villain, right? Tom got the heck out of town right after that and he hasn't been home since.

Tom and Hellboy decide to help Cora mend her ways, as she was manipulated into becoming a witch after she lost her husband and all of her children. However, guess who is waiting for them outside? It's Effie Kolb!

The horse that she is riding is actually Tom's father, punished for Tom leaving all those years ago. When he transforms back to his human self, he dies. Tom is then intent on getting his father buried at the only church in the area, despite whatever traps that the Crooked Man and his servant, Effie, and the other witches in the area, have for them. Tom insists on Cora coming with them, as well, as he wants to redeem her soul.

The mission is not without its risk, as seen by Cora, well, you know, exploding along the way...

However, her soul WAS redeemed in the process and her spirit is there at the church where Tom, Hellboy and the old priest of the Church make their fateful stand against the Crooked Man and his forces.

I won't spoil the ending, but wow, it's quite a feat of horror by two comic book horror legends in Mignola and Corben.

Thanks for the suggestion, Riley!

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