Hellboy is dead, and when you are the son of the Devil you go to Hell when you die. Well in this case The Abyss, which is kind of like a Hell’s waiting room full of bugs. I haven’t read Hellboy in quite some time, so the reasons why he dies, aren’t known to me past the brief bit of exposition about it at the start of the issue, but frankly that is all you need to be sucked into the story. You don’t even need that, you mostly just need to know that Hellboy is dead and on his way into Hell.
Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart have created what may be the most beautifully sparse issues of Hellboy I have ever seen. The panels are black black black, with muted heavy grays, browns, and strange greens and purples. It really truly gives the feel of an other worldly place. A spirit has followed Hellboy into the Abyss and aids him in fighting off giant Lovecraftian insects, only to then be confronted by an old enemy Eligos. The two of them escape to a seperate place where the spirit says that it can bind Eligos. Hellboy is cast away from the place so the spirit can do its work and finds himself in front of a puppet show of A Christmas Carol, conveniently setting a framework for the next issue.
This is a hauntingly beautiful looking book, and the tone of it is fairly somber, even the sarcastic shtick that is the trademark of Hellboy is seemingly muted (maybe I’m just projecting that into the book), he has some one lines but largely he is questioning, almost lost or out of his element. This feels like it is going to be Mignola’s Inferno, like he if finally at a place where Hellboy can make a truly spectacular journey into who and what he is (ideas that have been explored fairly deeply over the course of the comic, but that can always be dug deeper into). I like the feel of it so far, and I hope that it takes the direction that it seems to be taking. This book truly excites me. I have nothing but gushing compliments for it.
I feel like a true testament to how good a book is, is if you want to go back and read all of the old issues. This makes we want to dig deep and start collecting from the very beginning of Hellboy. I want to take that journey again, I want to move from semi super hero fighting alongside the B.P.R.D. to what looks to be the start of a very personal journey, all alone, into the depths of Hell. This is just superb and I can’t wait to spend more time in Hell.