In Review: Hellboy in Hell #1

The cover: In the title character’s own words, “I…fell into a hole full of giant bugs…” Hellboy’s perch is not tall enough to protect him. Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart have created a stark cover, straight from Page 8, as a great introductory image into this epic tale that Hellboy fans have eagerly been awaiting. I do wish the image had stood out as much as the “In Hell” part of the title. Overall grade: A-

The story: Mike Mignola begins this story with a one page brief history of Hellboy, arch-enemy Baba Yaga makes a comment on his death on Page 2, and Pages 3 and 4 show him losing his life. What follows is the start of his journey into the depths of Hell that is more Dickens than Dante. It’s creepy and full of monsters, questions, and mayhem you want in a Hellboy book. An ally appears for awhile, before the final four pages set the stage for what’s to come. This was the weirdness I wanted. Overall grade: A+

The art: The greatest whine from comic book fans over the past few years has got to be, “When is Mignola going to draw Hellboy again?” I’m impressed Mignola hasn’t gone postal in that time. Well, the time has finally happened and what better way to return to his creation than by drawing him in Hell? This location is the perfect opportunity for Mignola to put his own personal stamp on the afterworld, and he’s doing a great job! What does Mike bring to the table? Epic magic, monstrous beings, Victorian puppet shows (don’t ask, just buy it and enjoy), and still the best interpretation of everyone’s favorite demon from Hell. His work must be seen to be believed that gothic adventures in a comic are possible. Overall grade: A+

The colors: This layer of Hell is not fire and brimstone. More dark and dim, where one could stumble to their doom. When magic is employed it is epic and illuminating, showing things best left to the shadows. I loved how each setting and spell was brought to life by a new color from Dave Stewart. Outstanding, but why do I have a feeling that the brighter the book becomes the worse the situation will be? Overall grade: A+

The letters: Superior sound effects, screams, and dialogue from Clem Robins. Wonderful! TIC Overall grade: A

The final line: Darkness, monsters, mages, runes, and ruins. Hell is the place to be. Overall grade: A+

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