So Hellboy died while defending Britain, shortly after finding out that he was a descendant of King Arthur and therefore, the rightful King of Britain. HB just doesn’t get a break. Enter Mike Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart – these two are a superhero team into and of themselves – to bring us the continuing adventures of Hellboy – because really, did we expect something silly like death to stop him? – as he travels through Hell itself.
This trade collects issues 1-5 of Hellboy in Hell, and includes a Mignola sketchbook, which I always enjoy. I love Mignola’s commentary on the process of creating, and I love looking at his sketches and seeing how they evolved into the final work on the finished pages.
But back to the story – Hellboy is making his way through Hell. He’s encountering some folk he’s met in the past, and they hold grudges. In Pandemonium, he has the mother of all awkward family reunions. He makes a couple of acquaintances to accompany him on his journey. He’s got a long way to go.
The story’s influences run through the book itself, with references to Dickens, Shakespeare, and Milton – and really, why not Milton? I love Mignola’s ability to weave stories together, and Hellboy in Hell does it beautifully. We’re getting origin stories about Hellboy, we’re getting stories about the characters he meets in Hell, we’re getting a layered narrative that weaves Hellboy, his past, Hell, and the people he meets there, all into one incredible story. Hellboy in Hell starts up again with issue #6 today, and I’m so glad he’s back. If you haven’t been reading this series yet, pick up the trade and the issue today. You won’t be sorry. 5/5 stars.
HELLBOY IN HELL VOL. 1: THE DESCENT
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse
On-Sale: May 14, 2014