After a decent hiatus “Hellboy in Hell” is back with its fifth issue following the fallen hero on his journey through the bowels of his forsaken kingdom. It’s no surprise that Mignola has waited to release this issue. There has been a lot of action since the inception of this book and even more since its break with the two companion titles, “B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth” and “Abe Sapien”. As these other titles have come to a big events, the Hellboy story continues.
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola
ART BY: Mike Mignola
PUBLISHER: Dave Stewart
RELEASE DATE: December 4
Hellboy is coming off a pretty significant story arc, after having been killed he was taken on ridiculous jaunt through the kingdom he has willingly forsaken and to the eventual confrontation with some long lost relatives. After opening hell’s doors and letting lesser demons freedom, Hellboy finds himself at a loss as to what to do next. Luckily for him a damned soul appears and offers him his services. This journey is one of self-realization and allows Hellboy to feel empathy for another person for the first time since his unfortunate demise.
Mike Mignola’s work is genius and there is little doubt about that. He is able to infuse dialogue with such cryptic language, leaving each sentence with underlying messages. This book is not my favourite issue to date, but it offers a reflection on the character of Hellboy through social interaction. The story itself is very dark and uses a sort of sleight-of-hand maneuvering as the conversation follows one story line and the art tends to shift around, giving an eerie air to the tale. As the issue closes out it becomes clear that this incident is but blip on Hellboy’s radar and that he is finally ready to get the ball rolling.
When I think about Mignola’s art, there is one word that immediately pops into mind: creepy. I don’t know if it is the excessive amount of shadows or the sketchy structure of his illustrations but there is definitely something undeniably creepy it. I always find it strange how appealing his drawings are. There are so many other artists that give very realistic images, really bringing the image to life that scream talent, but this is a different kind of art. When you look at Mignola’s work for the first time the images appear crude and almost unfinished in some regards, the lines are uneven, robbing the illustrations of any semblance of symmetry. Upon closer inspection the images come to life as the shear care put into every squiggly curve gives the art a sinister look to reflect his word. This book is a testimonial to this raw style that makes me crave “Hellboy in Hell”. Dave Stewart continues to excel at colouring as the contrast of soft pastel colour and pure darkness gives the images the brilliance they deserve.
A slower issue overall, but I’m not to worried about it. With so much going on in the Mignolaverse Hellboy will surely play a predominant role.
Reviewed by – GreenBasterd