Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Hellboy In Hell #5
Dark Horse Comics
Mignola & Stewart
Welcome back Hellboy. Welcome back. After a nine month hiatus, Hellboy makes his return with a bang. This comic book reads like a one-shot despite being part of a much larger storyline and provides a compelling and highly entertaining read. If you only pick up one book this week then this is the one to get. It's simply that good of a read.
The story is called, "The Three Gold Whips" and my initial impression is that this is going to be an instant classic that will find itself reprinted in various forms as was done with "The Corpse". While the broader storyline involves Hellboy getting trapped in Hell, this comic is very much a sidebar and it reads like it could take place anywhere at any point in time in his continuity. It takes an exceptional storyteller to pull this off.
Hellboy is minding his own business in Hell when he finds a man that is trying to recover (or retain) his soul after a bad deal with the devil. Hellboy offers some assistance to the man, mostly out of boredom.
The book then outlines a very clever "deal" and a trap to exit the deal. I won't spoil the details but there is more to this then at first assumed. As Hellboy figures out the pieces of the puzzle the reader gets a bit of an inside glimpse into the solution just slightly ahead of Hellboy. It's an excellently constructed story in what seems like such a simple premise.
Mignola and Stewart produce the quintessential Hellboy story in this book. The line work is sharp, unique and creepy at the same time. The colors provide dark images with splashes of brilliant colors at key moments in the story. At first glance the comic has limited amount of backgrounds, but the construction of the layouts brings a different background color to keep the comic looking fresh in each panel. The contrast is excellent. While the book shies away from action, the visuals are effective at adding to the drama of the story. This is exactly what Hellboy looks like in a classic story.
Hellboy may not be everyone's cup of tea. However, for those that enjoy a good horror comic with some humor and a touch of Indiana Jones-like adventure and mystery should check this out. The seasoned Hellboy fan is going to be thrilled with this issue. I can't stress this enough, this book is an instant classic.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles