On Monday ahead of SDCC, Dark Horse announced Witchfinder: Reign of Darkness. A spin-off from Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy, this marks the character’s third miniseries. Mignola himself is heading up the team, along with iZombie co-creator Chris Roberson, artist Chris Mitten and colorist Michelle Madsen.
Those who remember the Witchfinder know him as Queen Victoria’s occult adviser. Otherwise known as Sir Edward Grey, he’s shown up in a handful of Hellboy comics, beginning with Hellboy: Wake the Devil and more prominently in Abe Sapien: The Drowning. Now, he’s back to solve a string of murders that’s been unsolved for far too long. Although Scotland Yard has turned his back on him, the Witchfinder is certain that the notorious Jack the Ripper has some sort of occult connection.
Roberson, who’s worked with Mignola on several of his Hellboy titles, provides a brief look at what readers can expect from Sir Edward Grey’s next appearance. “It’s been long-established that Sir Edward Grey was involved in some capacity in the investigation into the Ripper killings in 1888, and that shortly afterward he left government service for good,” said Roberson. “But we’ve never known just what Sir Edward discovered during his investigation, or who was behind the Ripper murders in the world of Hellboy, or what happened that caused the royal Witchfinder to have a falling-out with Queen Victoria…until now, at least. In the pages of Witchfinder: Reign of Darkness, we’ll be exploring all of those questions and more, as Sir Edward’s investigation into a string of grisly murders leads him in directions he couldn’t have guessed, encountering new enemies and new allies along the way.”
Mitten is a seasoned Mignolaverse artist. His work there includes Rise of the Black Flame, Hellboy Winter Special (2017), Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon and more. Aside from his time at Dark Horse, Mitten has also worked with a slew of other publishers, from the Big Two to IDW, Oni, Boom!, Titan and, seemingly just about any other you can think of. Yet, he can’t shake his love for Mignola’s macabre creation.
“It’s not hard to have a blast illustrating a Witchfinder story for the first time, particularly since in this story Sir Edward is dealing with the notorious Ripper murders and resulting fallout,” said Mitten. “It’s an interesting time to be wandering around inside this world, playing with the styles and the architecture, the mood of time and place as seen through the Mignolaverse lens. We revisit some wonderful set pieces from Victorian London, while finding a few new ones. The terrific characters are just the icing on the cake.”
Witchfinder: The Reign of Darkness begins on November 17 and will be a five-part miniseries. Until then, we’ve got a look at the first cover below.