by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart
Let’s face it: this review is late. But it’s Hellboy in Hell. How can we pass over something of this significance, even if our daily lives might be hectic and even if twenty-four hours doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to get everything done. So, here we are; the All-Comic.com review for the masterpiece know as Hellboy in Hell. Yeah, before we even dive into the body of this review the verdict is in on this chapter. Once again, Hellboy in Hell towers over the competition like a giant that can’t even be bothered to look down at what it’s crushing beneath its feet.
Mike Mignola takes this opportunity to, at least as much as one can in a single issue, level the playing field for all of you that haven’t picked up this magnificent gem of a series. Mignola ties into various life events, including the most recent Midnight Circus, in an attempt to get people more up to speed with the twenty-odd years that Hellboy has been around. For just covering the basics up to this point and why Hellboy is in Hell, Mignola does a fantastic job. Sure, there are years of amazing comics you’re missing out on, but ultimately that’s okay. You get enough information to continue forward with the series while simultaneously catching the bug to go back and experience Hellboy for the first time–or second, or fourth, or sixth… whatever.
Not only is this a great introduction for people to get into the Mignolaverse, it’s also a shining example of what got Mignola started in this industry in the first place: his art. Mignola, particularly for the last few epic, silent pages, really steps up his game here. The time he takes between issues–which basically comes down to whatever he feels he needs to create an issue that he’s happy with–is more than justified with this book alone. He recreates some classic scenes while re-telling Hellboy’s story, and also gives us some epic, new panels that are sure to be classics in the years to come.
With all the layers of Hellboy here, it’s worth noting we’re also getting a cross-section of the work from color master Dave Stewart. Essentially, this is like a sample of the look and feel of all the Hellboy issues in the past and, by extension, the spin-off books as well. Stewart’s patented flats, reds and greys belong to this series and this book as much as the heavy, dripping blacks of Mignola. Without Stewart, this book would most certainly not be the same.
Hellboy in Hell #8 might be the most must-read issue in this line in recent memory. Mignola gives you a taste of the world he’s created, while catching you up on some key points so he can bring you along for the ride in the issues to come. There’s something downright magical about his storytelling, his art and his overall eye for panels that just puts him a cut above the rest. Even if you’ve skipped the last installment, you need to pick this up. All-Comic.com has been screaming about how good this series is for years, and it’s about damn time you pick it up. There is no better time than now.