From the Comic Hold: Hellboy in Hell #1 and #2
Reviewer was provided a review copy by Dark Horse Comics.
Hellboy in Hell marks the return of creator Mike Mignola playing double duty as writer and artist in the series that made him a household name. Admittedly, Hellboy in Hell is my first non-movie experience with the character, but I found the series so far to be very accessible to the green reader.
No spoiler warning will protect you from the big shocker in this issue; they put it right in the series title. Hellboy has died in battle, launching him back to his birthplace. As he traverses through the layers of Hell, once can easily compare his journey Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, with a sprinkle of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in for good measure.
Mignola’s expressionism art style (which I first experienced in the excellent novella Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism) results in a exceptional execution from cover to cover. If I were to have one complaint with Hellboy in Hell, it’s that each issue ends rather abruptly. If the goal was to have the reader anticipate the next release, mission accomplished, but I would have appreciated at least some kind of real cliffhanger to keep the imagination going until then.
If you’re already a Hellboy fan, there is nothing I can say to convince you further to pick up this series. Issue one has already sold out, but reprints will be available January 30th if you must own a physical copy. As for new readers, Hellboy in Hell serves as a great starting point to the character.