March 14, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Hellboy in Hell #4

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Written by: Billy
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Hellboy in Hell #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola
Colors: Dave Stewart

In the fourth installment of this series, we see more of Hellboy and this mysterious figure talking of the past. Hellboy figures out that the man’s name is Edward Grey. You see, Hellboy notices a picture, and then recalls seeing it in the back room of a pub in his youth. He questions the man about his identity, and he gives it willingly. Grey then tells Hellboy that he committed murder while down below recently. Hellboy then learns of Grey’s whereabouts after he was dismissed from the Queen’s service (he was a special agent for occult matters). We then see how he had to keep a special eye on the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra. He watched them raise a demon from hell, and he destroyed one of their relics that helped to conjure the demon. As the demon went back to the fiery pit, he grabbed Grey, and cursed him to forever walk the depths.

To say that this series is a stark contrast to previous Hellboy stories (at least the BPRD ones) would be an understatement. The overwhelming majority of this series has been devoid of action or wanton violence, and replaced with an intellectually charged story that begs you to read on. Learning more of Hellboy’s past was pretty cool, but now hearing about Edward Grey (WitchFinder) and his exploits, it’s like the icing on top of the cake!

As if the story wasn’t enough, you get Mignola’s “A” game on the artwork, too. Lets face it, Hellboy written and drawn by Mignola is top of the food chain. Others can do it, but just not at the same level that he can. Of course, being the creator gives him insight the others will probably never have, but in any event, he’s the master. Add the coloring work of Dave Stewart, and you have a combination that is perfection for this title. The cover for this issue was very cool, too. It shows Hellboy floating around in the abyss, as it appears in the interiors. You really get a sense of how lost and lonely Hellboy feels now that he’s “dead” just by looking at the pages.

Overall, another solid issue, and who knows where this series will take us now. There was a bit of a teaser with a reference that recent BPRD readers will take note of right away. One of the latest mini-series showcased something that shares a common bond with a bit of this book, too. Rating 4.5/5

Billy Dunleavy



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