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Hellboy: The Midnight Circus

(Hellboy: Original Graphic Novels #2)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,548 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Young Hellboy runs away from the B.P.R.D. only to stumble upon a weird and fantastical circus and the few demons from Hell who inhabit it. An original graphic novel in hardcover!
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Dark Horse Comics (first published October 23rd 2013)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,548 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder, at this point, if Mike Mignola could write a bad Hellboy book if he wanted. Seed of Destruction was ‘94 and we’ve had about a dozen Hellboy books, a hugely successful spin-off series, BPRD, and numerous other associated titles, assorted Hellboy anthologies, prose novels, and, of course, the superb movies. In other words, in the nearly 20 years since Mignola debuted Hellboy, he’s turned a cool random sketch into one of the greatest comic book characters ever inhabiting one of the riches ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This is a story from when Hellboy was very young.

Hellboy runs off to visit a circus. But the Midnight Circus has many secrets. I won't spoil the story by giving away the plot. It is a nice short story.

The art is actually very compelling. Duncan Fegredo's art is similar to Mignolas but it seems to have an ability to show detail better. I really enjoyed it and thought it a great fit for the Hellboy stories.

As far as the Clown and the Giant who chant "....Spirits of Earth and Air, burning wreck of
Steven Harbin
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A birthday gift from my daughter, this was a short, but enjoyable story from Hellboy's youth. The young HB sneaks off base at night and discovers a strange circus in the woods, where things are not as they seem. Inspired by both the Pinocchio story and Ray Bradbury, according to Mignola. Good story, even if so short that it leaves one hoping for more. Good artwork by Duncan Fegredo, as well. ...more
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, superhumans
This could be a book to hook new readers on Hellboy in general. It's set when Hellboy is still very young, and you don't really need much in the way of background. The art and writing are both good enough to draw the reader in, and the inspirations of Pinocchio and Something Wicked This Way Comes are clear throughout. The imagery is just perfect for the story. But it is very short. Maybe one day, these wee little Hellboy graphic novels will get collected into a larger trade. That would be far mo ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, horror
This is a charming graphic novel set in 1948 when Hellboy is still just a child. After running away from home, he runs into a mysterious circus, one which clearly knows who he is and has an ulterior motive for trying to lure him in. Of course, he escapes from their clutches and runs back to the safety of his adopted father and the B.P.R.D.

There are clear influences of both Something Wicked This Way Comes with the circus, and Pinocchio with Hellboy himself cast in the role of the puppet who wants
Himanshu Karmacharya
Inspired by Pinocchio, The Midnight Circus is really a "growing up and learning a lesson" kind of story set in Hellboy's childhood, that really builds up the relationship between him and Professor Bruttenholm. ...more
Melissa McShane
This slim story tells of a young Hellboy's encounter with a mysterious circus and its master. This being a Hellboy story, it's of course not a bright and happy place, but something dark and sinister, and I think it represents the first time Hellboy is tempted to take up his infernal destiny. Young Hellboy is charming and adorable, rebelling against the limits Professor Bruttenholm and the army place upon him while also crying out for reassurance when things get scary. One of my favorite images i ...more
Orrin Grey
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mignola, comics
Just in time for Halloween, we get another standalone hardcover Hellboy story, a la House of the Living Dead, this time with the great Duncan Fegredo back and outdoing himself on art duties, with a story about young Hellboy running away from the B.P.R.D. to join the circus. But of course, since this is Hellboy, it's a little more Something Wicked This Way Comes than your average circus.

The book is slim, maybe only equivalent to about two issues worth, and the story seems slighter than the packed
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-comic
Still a comic newbie, this was my first exposure to Hellboy outside of the cinema. The story follows the plight of a young Hellboy who wanders away from the protection of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense.

The confused and lonely young Hellboy portrayed in this story was absolutely endearing. The tale did a good job of presenting the quandary of dealing with the potential expectation for evil from both sides. Yet, all the young Hellboy wants is love and acceptance, to be embraced as a
Siona St Mark
I love seeing Kid Hellboy. And the story was pretty interesting.
Earthworm GЯIMM
Oct 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really great short story if not for the visuals alone but very gothic and cryptic and the similarities to Pinocchio were a interesting spin
Wayne McCoy
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
In a story set when Hellboy was young, he sneaks out of the Bureau For Paranormal Research and Defense. He discovers a creepy circus in the woods that only runs in the dead of night. He also discovers something that may endanger his life.

It's a story with some great nods to the book Pinocchio, with it's imagery of fish puppets and giant whales, and a caring father figure who just wants his young one safe. There are characters that Hellboy will meet later in his life that want to kill him here.

Michael Emond
Everyone else is raving about this book but I have to say...wha?!?!? First, 56 pages? $16.99? Are you kidding me? I know that isn't a review of the story but still, you have to be some kind of crazy to buy it. Second, the art is passable but not the jaw dropping spectacular the other reviews were build it up to be. Anatomy problems, Mignola-lite, not a lot of creativity. Story-wise? Well it is 56 pages what do you expect. It is a cute little short story that didn't add anything to the character. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love stories about Young Hellboy so much
Dávid Novotný
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short story from Hellboy's childhood. Encounter with magical circus, shows little glimpses into future. Good, but could be longer, I likead the idea and atmosphere ...more
Monkey Feyerabend
I always loved Pinocchio, a haunting book full of misery, death and absurd. Hellboy is basically a comics counterpart to Collodi's novel, or at least it becomes such when the character leaves the BPRD to start his own personal absurd journey along the path to become 'a real boy'. So, I am happy that the analogy was brought up on the surface in this book featuring kid Hellboy. At least in the first part, where we see Hellboy reading the book in the library, and later discussing with his dev
Wing Kee
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful little tale that goes over familiar themes, but man is the art lovely!

I won't do the full review here as this is only a 50+ page tale, but yes as I've said above this story does tread familiar themes that HB has covered. This time it's in the form of a child HB tale and a thematic link to Pinocchio, which I rather enjoyed. The art was also fairly lovely with different styles to show different things and the coloring by Stewart is just beautiful (he's one of the best out there).

I thi
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved everything about this book--the art, the story, the smell of the paper. This is the first Hellboy comic I've ever read, and it was nice to see a story from his past. I fondly remember reading "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in junior high. I had this morbid fascination with the creepy circus and everything that went on there. This art in this book was a near perfect representation of how I imagined things while reading that book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to readi
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not necessarily the best story you'd expect from a standalone graphic novel, but it has a pseudo-fable feel to it that is admittedly charming, and kinda cute in its own way. (being a horror series, after all) What this is more than anything else though, is gorgeous. They didn't skimp on art quality here. There are more dramatic scenes depicted elsewhere in Hellboy books, but everything is very well done. Short for the normal retail price, but with concentrated quality to make up for it. ...more
'kris Pung
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick read featuring a young Hellboy which was a nice change of pace from the other Hellboy books. Also the art is some of the best I've ever seen. ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect book, excepting that it wasn't longer. ...more
Fraser Sherman
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1948, kid Hellboy runs away to see a circus. But it turns out the ringmaster has his own agenda, and it's evil ... creepily drawn and a very nice little story in its own right. ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully dark fairy tale of a book.

Would love to see more books like this featuring young Hellboy.
SE Panoply

BPRD 1948, it’s late, and little Hellboy is sneaking past the security desk, and overhears Trevor, and Malcolm chatting about HB, and the danger he poses, but Malc giving HB the benefit of the doubt as HB leaves the building by open balcony. HB has a matchbook and ciggies he’d taken from to agents earlier whilst hanging out in the mess. Now, he uses his arm to light the match for ciggie, he hearing a parade of clowns drumming in the night, and posters bein
Matt Graupman
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of the Hellboy comics and watched both Hellboy movies (which, if you haven't heard, they're rebooting with Neil Marshall, the director of "The Descent," and starring David Harbour, who played Sheriff Hopper in "Stranger Things"); they're all great but they tend to focus on the "Hell" bit at the expense of the "boy" part. In this short graphic story, we finally get a glimpse of Hellboy as an actual young kid, in all his angsty supernatural glory. Don't worry, though, there's still ...more
John Stanifer
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Hellboy comic, and while it probably wasn't the best place to jump in, I enjoyed it and definitely intend to sample others.

I have a feeling that, even for those more versed in the Hellboy universe, this would feel like more of an appetizer or an interesting side story than a key part of the mythology.

That being said, I really liked the settings (especially the library at the B.P.R.D. headquarters), and I especially liked the depiction of Hellboy's first attempts at reading--gett
This was an interesting book.

Hellboy, kid, teen, lives surrounded by adults at all times (various agents and scientists from BPRD). Living in such surroundings it is no surprise he considers himself to be one of the team so when he gets put to his place he takes it very hard. Since he is in a very sensitive teen years (when almost anything will annoy the teen :) ) this results in his rebellious escape one night when he comes across the mysterious circus advertising marvels and show from midnight
Ashley (Red-Haired Ash Reads)
Rating: 4 stars - It was really good

In this story, young Hellboy has run away from the B.R.P.D. and finds himself at the circus. But this is no ordinary circus and thighs are not all fun and games.

This was a great story. I loved that this focuses on Hellboy as a kid because his childhood is still a bit of a mystery. His adventure at the circus was fascinating and shows enemies he doesn’t even know about, or understand yet. This story was just a great glimpse at a young boy who is still shelter
Jared Millet
Young Hellboy runs away to the circus! This is much more of what I'd want from a "young Hellboy" story than Hellboy and the BPRD , and chronologically the stories are only a few years apart. Plus, I just love Duncan Fegredo's take on Hellboy's world, and all the little insight's into HB's early life. (Re: Pinocchio. "Did you see the movie?" "I read the book!") The story is more cryptic than clear, but since there's no chance of young Hellboy understanding what's going on around him, that does ...more
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Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn't remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.

In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began wo

Other books in the series

Hellboy: Original Graphic Novels (3 books)
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