In “Darkness Calls,” Koshchei was sent to kill Hellboy, but in the newest story, “Koshchei the Deathless” by Mike Mignola with art by Ben Stenbeck, the titular character turns storyteller in one of the greatest ideas in comic history and the end result is nothing short of amazing.
After his battle with Hellboy and throwing a knife into his back, Koshchei sits down with Hellboy and tells him his life story. This issue has him talk about the first and second time he was killed, his time with a dragon, the second time he was killed and how he was tasked with killing dragons.
It’s actually an interesting idea to have this type of story told via the point of view of a “Hellboy” villain. This goes to show that there is a lot more to these people than what is presented to us. Koshchei does come off as a great character and this first issue does a great job of creating a backstory that, while still paints him as evil, makes him a fully fleshed out character. Even if this wasn’t a “Hellboy” comic, this character is interesting enough for even non-fans to enjoy.
The art has some highs and lows. The parts where the art is fabulous is when we have some detail to the characters. One example is when we see a closeup of Koshchei’s wife. The detail on her face is remarkable. On the other hand, there are times when the artwork looks way too cartoony even for “Hellboy.” These times makes one wonder if this was a design choice or just a poor insight by Stenbeck.
“Koshchei The Deathless” takes a great idea of giving a villain’s backstory and running with it to great lengths. The writing is amazing and the character is well written. The art may have some downsides, but overall, it’s great.