Hellboy in Hell #1
Written and Drawn by: Mike Mignola
Colors: Dave Stewart
Review by David Short
Yes, Hellboy is dead, and, no, that is not going to stop his adventures. Why would you not follow him into the depths of not-quite-Hell-yet? I mean, Hell is kind of in his name.
Hellboy arrives in what seems to be a precursor to the fiery pit of doom that we are taught to associate with hell, and in doing so he meets up with some past foes and some giant shrimp looking things. This is an action packed issue that doesn’t divulge much as to the greater plot of the series. Hellboy seems to have a guardian angel, of sorts, through this ordeal as a hooded figure helps him out of quite a few jams.
Then we are given a bit of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, injected into the plot. It’s odd…That’s really the only way to describe it. But you kind of forget just how unusual it is to see Scrooge speaking with Jacob Marley when Hellboy is whisked away by a spirit himself. All in all, the plot is bare bones, so far, but it isn’t bad to be in the dark sometimes.
Most importantly, this book is gorgeous. Mike Mignola is made to draw this series. His simplistic style lends itself well to what is an incredibly detailed book. His art is at its best when he is able to do as little as possible; for example, Hellboy standing on a tiny rock, surrounded by shrimp creatures, with a single exclamation point over his head. It’s really great to have him back on Hellboy.
Then there are the colors of this book. Dave Stewart matches Mignola’s style perfectly. Nothing in this book is too flashy, but it’s because of Stewart’s palette that the art pops off the page. The shadows and darkness dim the overall tone of the book and add mystery, but the pages where he is able to add more than the dreary and dark, are just fantastic.
This is a must for Hellboy fans, if not solely for the return of Mignola to the character. Hellboy has always been a book to play with the occult, but now there are no shackles binding them to any sort of realism if they would like. The first issue doesn’t do much to advance the plot, but it is fun in spite of that. Check it out if you are remotely interested in Hellboy.