HELLBOY IN HELL #1
Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Mike Mignola
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Mignola flexes his writing muscle from the very first page, providing a great recap of Hellboy up to this point. The recap is brief, but manages to hit the high points of the past few years of Hellboy and get new readers up to speed without sacrificing pages for longtime Hellboy buffs. The script itself after the recap is a whole lot of crazy, with some great action mixed in with some mind-bending suspense/horror like only Mignola can craft. I am a sporadic Hellboy reader, so some of the significance of some events may have been somewhat lost on me, but Mignola’s story is so accessible I never felt like I was missing some piece of inside information to make it work. Hellboy, himself, is hilarious in that stoic, gruff way that not many other characters in comics can pull off, and is primed for one hell of an adventure in this storyline (pardon the pun). Mignola does an excellent job scripting flat out confusion in this issue, as our primary character really has no clue what is in store for him, and the issue does a good job of making the reader feel the same. The dialogue and story flow seamlessly as the issue progresses and no matter what bizarre direction Mignola plans on taking, I feel compelled to follow.
Now, on to Mignola’s art. It’s odd talking about a comic crafted by a single person in two sections, but that is how my brain works so here we go: the art is brilliant. Hellboy is Mignola’s, and it shows in this comic. The art in this comic book feels so effortless, so perfect for the story, that it really makes me question if anyone, ever, should pencil this character other than Mignola. His pencils throughout the issue are sharp, well articulated, and the layouts are fantastic. Tension bleeds from many pages, and there is an immense amount of storytelling accomplished through the art in this comic. Having a single creator, the creator, at the reins of this book allows for a lot of subtlety and fantastic moments to shine through solely in the art. This comic was a pleasure to view, and it made my week to see Mignola penciling Hellboy again.
This comic is a win. This is a great jumping on point for new readers, and long time fans will find themselves right at home with Mignola, visually and conceptually. I will be back for more, as soon as I possibly can be.