Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Hellboy In Hell #1
Dark Horse Comics
Mignola & Stewart
Hellboy is dead and this series picks up where his death left off. For the first time in a long time, Mike Mignola writes and draws a story with his creation. This first issue is vintage Mignola as he introduces some very strange concepts, doesn't explain a whole lot and delivers some powerfully beautiful and odd artwork. If you have any interest at all in horror, adventure, the occult or just something different and you aren't picking this up then you are definitely missing out. This is a terrific comic book.
Hellboy is killed off in classic fashion and begins to fall into Hell. However, he is stopped just short of making into Hell and that is where his adventure begins. It's not in his nature to question a whole lot, but when he seems to find a sympathetic helped he gets curious about his situation. Questions asked leads to more riddles when he hears the answers and before he can process everything Hellboy has a throw down with a villain that he assumed was dead already. This all leads to a strange puppet show of A Christmas Carol.
If the book sounds strange then you aren't too familiar with Mignola. He jumps around in the book and you are expected to keep up with what you can and figure at some point down the line that you'll understand the rest. It's a risky way to tell a story because it requires faith on the part of the reader that the unexplained and strange isn't too annoying that it scares off the reader. It's a tight balance but I believe Mignola pulls it off.
Mignola is a fantastic artist and he is in full effect in this issue. The book has creepy looking settings and decrepit looking creatures throughout the book. Hellboy looks menacing at times and like a frightened, naïve child at others. The book uses a color palette that is unusual for any other book except Hellboy. It's mostly dark tones but has instances of brilliant color that punctuates a certain aspect of a given panel. It's a gorgeous book but it definitely is an acquired taste.
If you read this book then you probably already know that there isn't a sensible ending to the issue. This shouldn't alarm a new reader as Hellboy books typically leave several mysteries and questions beyond in each issue. The book is a great introduction to the current storyline while giving the reader enough background to keep up with the story. It's nice to have Hellboy back.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles