Have you ever thought what it would be like if Hellboy was more appealing to the eyes of a kid, a world where the missions of a red horned demon could be read as a bedtime story? Introducing Itty Bitty Hellboy, a series that turns something dark into an experience of colourful adventure… for all ages!
Itty Bitty Hellboy is aimed at the young reader and really serves it purpose, which to engage with the young members of the comic community. But the beauty of this book is that the mature reader can enjoy this brisk read as well, infact it will transport you back to your youth and you will find yourself giggling for these childish jokes. The only problem is that the jokes are not really Hellboy focused enough. Sure you have Johann sneezing himself out his containment suit and underwear jokes but there are no jokes that rip on what is wrong with the Nazi regime. They could have even incorporated a few life lessons on the importance of democracy or something at the expense of the Nazis, and then the title could have been educational and humorous, whilst expanding the minds of our young readers. Nothing really explains why this had to be a Hellboy title. I guess Darkhorse is trying to indoctrinate readers while they are still green to the comic scene.
Although the stories are quick paced, being a few pages at most, the adventures are fun. The characters manage to stay true to who they are with their powers remaining the same. However, they are using them for more child friendly reasons. Also, do not expect to see a comic set in the world of Hellboy. The kids will be treated to brightly coloured care-free pages filled with picket fences and not Nazi barricades or the molten pits of Hell… which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Art Baltazar produces some lovely youthful art. The pastel colours are vibrant and are guaranteed to grab the attention of a young reader. Each character is presented in Baltazar’s distinctive style and their expressions are made very easy for kids to understand and relate to. The font used in the text of this issue sends me back to those youthful days of reading Captain Underpants (who am I kidding I still read Captain Underpants). But this is what Itty Bitty Hellboy offers, it is an enjoyable read for everyone.
Unless you are the type of reader that solely likes Hellboy for it dark and gritty reads, you might want to avoid this book as it is not at all set in the Hellboy universe that you are accustomed to. If you are a reader open to something different and a youthful adventure, it is totally worthwhile giving Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 a read. As a parent this is definitely a comic you could get your kids to started on. It is a brisk comic that could make the concept of reading feel more like fun and less of a task to a little kid.