Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist & Colorist: Jesse Lonergan
Letterer: Clem Robins
Cover Artists: Jesse Lonergan; Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: May 17, 2023
In 1883, Tefnut Trionus, the Queen of the Heliotropic Brotherhood, asked Miss Truesdale to attend her. She understands that the men of their order—dedicated to preserving the secrets of a long-forgotten age–are making Miss Truesdale’s life difficult. But how can Tefnut—the reincarnation of Eugene Remy, who founded the Heliotropic Brotherhood—force Victorian gentlemen to accord her more respect? Let’s unsheathe our swords, leap into Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1, and find out!
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Tefnut claims to be the reincarnation of Eugene Remy, who founded the Heliotropic Brotherhood. She wishes to relate a dream to Miss Truesdale. In the late 19th Century, Miss Truesdale would have traveled from London to the Heliotropic Brotherhood’s headquarters in Paris. While that’s a hundred years after Percy Blakeney rescued aristocrats from Madam Guillotine during the French Revolution, the methods of travel likely wouldn’t have changed much. Miss Truesdale would have traveled by stagecoach from London to Dover. Assuming the tides favored her, she would have boarded a ship heading across the English Channel. (If not, Miss Truesdale would have spent the night in a local inn). After arriving in France, she would board another coach and travel to Paris. We don’t learn why Miss Truesdale traveled there or how long she’s been in Paris. It seems a long way to ride in jolting wooden carriages and across a choppy sea if it’s just to hear about someone’s dream.
Tefnut’s dream concerns two women. Both were slaves. The first—I’m assuming her name is Anum Yassa, as that’s what the Hyperborean spectators chant—fights in the arena, using an axe that belonged to her father. The second—a woman taken from the river people of Gerrona–brings her food and drink after her battles. Neither Anum’s hair nor her figure reminds me of Red Sonja. Still, her origin story is similar, and her outfit seems like a cross between Red Sonja’s and that of Gilad Anni-Padda, also known as the Eternal Warrior. The women discuss Tefnut’s dream, and then Miss Truesdale returns home. She seems to draw strength from it, but I suspect it also troubles her. Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 may be a five-minute read, but I look forward to seeing what comes next. Hopefully, Mike Mignola will give us more to sink our teeth into in issue #2.
Jesse Lonergan’s carefree, hand-drawn imagery doesn’t glamorize his characters, but he does give them personality. Most Hyperboreans look large and roughly shaped in Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1. They certainly contrast with Tefnut, the prim and proper Miss Truesdale, and the Victorian gentlemen of the brotherhood. Perhaps nature or the divine grew more refined as time went on. I especially enjoyed the London scenes: the cobblestone streets and Miss Truesdale’s cultured and well-appointed flat. She seems quiet, respectful, erudite, and reverent.
Lonergan employs a limited color palette in Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1. Yellow, red, brown, and gray are his primary colors. His coloring appears blotchy as if he’s dabbing darker tones—or another color—to provide depth and interest. Despite the heavy use of brown and gray, vibrant colors provide strong contrast. His faces remind me of Roman frescoes assembled from tiny clay tiles. Letterer Clem Robins’ uppercase black lettering is easy on the eyes. He uses colored sound effects during the gladiatorial games and fills the air with the crowd’s chant. They may not be shouting Thulsa Doom’s name, but you can imagine how hearing her name, echoing across the arena, would empower Anum to conquer her opponents.
Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 marks a new entry in the ever-expanding Hellboy universe. I look forward to discovering how Tefnut’s dream about an undefeated female gladiator influences Miss Truesdale’s future in her close-knit male-dominated society.