The long awaited return of Hellboy is here! Well, not all the way here, but we do see how he really “died,” and then a conversation between Baba Yaga and Sir Edward about his future. The conversation has them split about how Hellboy should be handled, but then the decision is made, and Sir Edward dives into the abyss to try and save Hellboy. What follows? Eligos beats Hellboy with his hammer, Sir Edward lays a trap for Eligos, oh, and we see Hellboy watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens…seriously, we do. What does all this translate to? Who knows, but it certainly looks like Hellboy has some allies in the depths, and is heading in the right direction!
With the return of Hellboy to comics, most were probably assuming more would have happened in this issue that showed how he’s going to get back to the land of the living. The issue had a moderate pace to it, but it was slightly boring at times. In the end, it might pay off as a good set up issue, but there could have been more relevant action. Seeing how Hellboy really died was interesting, and gave the issue some major significance, though. Anyone that’s been craving Hellboy will be pleased nonetheless. Hopefully issue number two will have more action in it.
Mignola doing the artwork with Stewart on colors is a great combination. Both guys understand the basics, plus how to use their other skills to make a panel set the mood like no words ever could. That’s not a knock on the writing either, but a huge compliment to their abilities with pencils and colors. Hellboy was shaded slightly lighter to give him the look of “death,” which was a great idea. That slight contrast was something that made him and the story stand out. The cover was pretty good, too, and Mignola has been doing a lot of them lately (mostly “B” covers for BPRD books). Hopefully this issue is the first step in not only bringing Hellboy back to the land of the living, but also to his friends at the BPRD! Rating 3.5/5