As the title promises, Hellboy is in Hell and he is looking rough. The big red brute is now sickly and white. He’s small and thin, not the Hellboy we’ve ever been used to seeing. It’s a jarring appearance for such an iconic character, but it really goes to show just how much he’s gone through.
In this issue, Hellboy gets it dropped on him that even though he’s in Hell and is obviously dead already, he could still be dying. He’s sick, which is clear just by looking at him, but a couple of mysterious doctors offer him a chance at getting better.
They take him to meet a doctor named Hoffman, who may be able to help Hellboy with his condition. Hoffman gives him something to at least make him look a little bit more like his old self again. More interesting, Hoffman relates the story of his rivalry with a man named Wilhelm Coppelius, who had built a golem that he hired Hoffman to fix. It didn’t work out.
We don’t see much of the fight between Hellboy and the massive golem, that’s still to come, but the anticipation and build up to that is excellent. This thing is massive, singular in its focus, and Hellboy is looking like a stiff breeze could blow him over. Whatever’s about to happen in the next issue is not going to be pretty. But then again, Hellboy is already in Hell, so could things really get that much worse for him?
The artwork at this point needs no introduction. Mike Mignola created Hellboy and his artwork has defined the title. Even when he’s not drawing a Hellboy-related comic, everything is done to match his designs and his specific, unique look for the characters. By this point, Hellboy is a huge thing and Mignola can’t do everything. But this book wouldn’t be the same without him. This series is one of the biggest turning points for the character and that world since its inception. The heavy, black shadows, the muted colors. Even though it’s a comic book, Hellboy in Hell is Mignola’s movie to direct.
This event definitely is worth checking out for Hellboy fans new and old. Even if you only know the character from the movies, Hellboy in Hell is an acceptable jumping-on point if only for the fact that this character that everyone knows is being put through the ringer. We’re seeing sides of him we’ve rarely seen before and it will be tough for him to get back to normal when and if he ever escapes the Hell he’s found himself in.
WICKED RATING: [usr 7]