Issue 2 of ‘Hellboy in hell’ furthers the story of Hellboy’s trek through the underworld and we as readers are treated to a visual feast courtesy of creator Mike Mignola. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Mignola’s work and Hellboy in particular is that you never know where the story will go and this issue is no exception.
The bulk of the issue follows on from the previous issue’s ending that paid homage to ‘A Christmas Carol’. Hellboy is taken on a guided tour of the capital of Hell, ‘Pandemonium’ containing his heritage, shown the river Cocytus containing the souls of misspent souls and the makings of his army and finally, he is shown his place of birth and forced to relive it. Three separate ghosts guide him through these locations.
Mignola loves to incorporate literature and mythologies all around the world into his work and I love how in this particular issue he has references to both Dicken’s classic but also Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ giving the story a grander feel. The mythology of Hellboy and his world has always been fascinating and here we are thrust deep into it. We are reminded that Hellboy is the rightful ruler of Hell; it’s his destiny, which he has fought against from the very beginning, but is all this, foreshadowing his turn to evil? Only Mignola knows and I’m happy to go along for the ride.
Mignola through his dialogue, fantastic art and pacing slows the story down and allows readers to absorb every corner of Hell he shows us. However, special credit goes to colorist Dave Stewart. As expected, he compliments the art with lots of blacks and dark tones yet when it comes to images of fire and brimstone his brighter colors make the art crackle on the page. He really creates an atmosphere worthy of the setting.
I’m excited to see further issues of the series and Mignola’s plans. His vision of Hell is riveting and I can’t wait to explore it more. It’s refreshing to not be able to foretell where exactly events will take a comic so kudos to the creative team.
5 out of 5 nerds
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dark Horse has sold out of the second issue so grab up your copy sooner rather than later if you want the first print run.