HELLBOY IN HELL #4 (Comic Review)
There is a popular saying for those poor souls who, once passed on, have found that their worldly problems have followed them to the land beyond: “Death is only the beginning.” HELLBOY IN HELL is the very embodiment of that statement, as Hellboy now finds himself in the shallow pits of Hell and its city, Pandemonium. This comic marks the return of HELLBOY’s creator, Mike Mignola, who both writes and draws the new story arc. Since issue one dropped back in December, fans and critics alike have praised the sublimely dark series, recommending it to both new and seasoned readers. With a mix of heavy inks and a beautiful storytelling, this arc stays true to the HELLBOY mythos while adding another layer to already an epic tale.
Issue #4 is a steady continuation from the previous three issues. If you have not been catching up on the story, Hellboy has finally been defeated and died while battling a dragon. Unfortunately, the son of Ol’ Scratch doesn’t exactly get a table in Heaven’s finest restaurant and finds himself in the home of his namesake. It’s here that his presence attracts all matter of strange creatures, from angry demons to ghosts of dead occultists, all centered around Hell’s city, Pandemonium. As with any good HELLBOY story, the city is teeming with esoteric and arcane secrets. Silent spirits flit in and out of the shadows, strange creatures lurk underfoot, and Satan himself sits alone below the streets of Pandemonium, waiting for Hellboy to return. Issue four has our hero facing even more life-changing revelations, this time addressing the life story of Edward Grey, Hellboy’s personal guide through his stay in Hell. As Grey peppers his story with hints of a certain powerful demon’s demise, Hellboy, for once, finds himself slowly free of all burden. But, of course, there is never any rest for him, as the wheels of deception slowly start turning.
HELLBOY IN HELL is an amazing addition to the continuing HELLBOY series; Mignola does a fantastic job of bringing Hellboy back to his original glory. The dark tones and subtle placement gives the reader a feeling of old macabre, like finding the crumbling manuscripts of a dark monk. The story is fantastically paced and, mixed with a sweeping view of a decaying Hell, provides the comic with a distinctly ‘Hellboy’ feeling that’s been missing since Mignola’s last art run several story arcs ago. The coloring by Dave Stewart drops subdued solid color schemes that match the overall feel of the story. In the hands of these two, the comic is a quick drop into the heart and soul of the overall series. HELLBOY has never looked so good.