The Cast: Painkiller Jane, Hellboy
The Catalyst: An ancient object of Native origin has resurfaced after thousands of years belonging to a tribe that no longer exists. Some want to open it in the name of science.
The Convergence: Painkiller Jane and Hellboy have been called to the site of an ancient artifact while it is being examined and when a demonic being is unleashed, it is up to them to try and put it back where it belongs.
The Critique: What makes this particular crossover work so well is the fact that the two characters involved, that being Painkiller Jane and Hellboy, seem like a natural fit, as if their two respective worlds exist quite naturally together and they take each other as a matter of fact. The story would feature no fighting between the two and no strange, deciding factor on why they should team up or what have one, instead author Brian Augustyn bringing them together with the simple plot device of them both showing up to do a job and acting as professionals. It works on every level and the story ends up being quite fun as the two heroes must figure out how to defeat this demon as bullets and other types of physical harm prove to be of no effect. That of course leaves magic and a little help from Chumbawumba and it is not long before said demon is defeated and locked once again inside of his prison. Augustyn does a great job with the material, telling a simple, fun tale that needs no background info with nothing left on the table when it is all said and done, a self-contained story that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Making it look fantastic is Rick Leonardi and Jimmy Palmiotti, a great blend of action with a touch of horror that makes one wish it was just a little bit longer than it was. On the plus side, the book never wears out its welcome and should the two characters ever cross paths again, this would be a good template to base it upon.
The Credits: Brian Augustyn – Writer, Rick Leonardi – Artist, Jimmy Palmiotti – Inker, Elizabeth Lewis & Snakebite – Colours, Richard Starkings & Comicraft – Letters
Companies Involved: Event Comics, Dark Horse Comics
Chronology: August, 1998