Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Hellboy: Conquerer Worm" - Britta Frazier

1. Analyze: Event-Secondary - The event that gets things moving in this story is the arrival of a comet in the earth's atmosphere that is actually an old Nazis spacecraft. It has been altering it's course (proving it's not just space junk) and is aimed to land right on top of an old Nazi fortress. Coincidence? I think not. So Hellboy and a small team have to investigate it to see if its dangerous.
Obviously the event is what get the action moving, and the story concludes when the conflict created by the event is resolved. But I call it secondary because Hellboy's inner struggle about sacrifice and the possibility of having to kill his own team member makes it primarily a character story.
2. Rating: PG-13. This is a very mild PG-13 rating, for some frightening and disturbing images. On several pages there are rotting and disfigured corpses that kids would probably be frightened by. Near the end there is a naked woman, but she is drawn in such a stylized way that it makes the nudity very mild.
3. Springboard - Mignola would have to know about World War II history, primarily the Nazis. Along with this he'd have to have researched clothing and uniforms of the time to make his characters accurate. Also, some knowledge on Norse mythology would be useful since the Nazi space programs have mythological names.
I did a little research to see if the Nazis actually had a space program. They never did officially, but conspiracies abound saying that the German rocket engineer Werner von Braun (who later developed the Saturn V rocket for NASA that got man to the moon) was a central figure in the development of a secret Nazi space program.

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