Hellboy in Hell saw comic legend Mike Mignola’s return to the helm of the Eisner Award winning franchise he created in 1993. Hellboy in Hell picked up right where Hellboy: The Fury left off. It was originally intended as a monthly ongoing series, but after premiering with a story arc in December 2012 that continued through four monthly installments, the chapters came sporadically, with many of the issues containing new arcs that wrapped up by the end of the issue. In December 2015, Mignola announced the series would end with issue #10.
Hellboy in Hell #9: The Spanish Bride opens with three demons mournfully lamenting the events that have brought us to this point in the story. All hell has literally broken loose and it has fallen to Hellboy. Of all the Princes and Lords of Hell, only Beelzebub lives, locked away in his tower. These demons have each lost their masters and have little choice but to swear allegiance to Beelzebub, whom they detest. The only chance they have of being accepted into Beelzebub’s fold is to come bearing gifts, and they decide Hellboy’s head and hands should do nicely.
The three ambush Big Red and surprisingly get the upper hand on the demon solely responsible for the fall of Hell. Just when it appears that Hellboy is about to lose his head, a character from Red’s past appears and motivates him to stop messing around with these foot soldiers and return to the task at hand. The issue is a perfect setup for the finale.
Hellboy in Hell #10 is narrated by a minor demon who witnessed the final chapter of the Fall of Hell. As he relates the story, we’re taken through a series of flashbacks that show the final battles for control of Hell.
Hellboy has assumed his true form, a red giant, clothed in flame, massive horns atop his brow. Leviathan and Behemoth have risen to challenge Anung Un Rama, and both have fallen. Beelzebub and the remaining demons of hell have one shot left. They have decided to call into the pit and summon their lost brother, Pluto, from the depths of Hell.
Mike Mignola’s minimalist style is used to great effect in both the story telling and the artwork of this story. It’s easy to follow the most important elements of the story when there aren’t any extraneous details. Every written word, every drawn line has great import to moving the story forward and bringing the reader into the world created by Mignola.
Hellboy in Hell #9, released 5/4/2016, $2.69, Hellboy in Hell #10, released 6/1/2016, $2.69, published by Dark Horse Comics, written and illustrated by Mike Mignola, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins
Review by Brendan Allen.