Hellboy in Hell #9 Review

367979._SX640_QL80_TTD_By Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart, Clem Robins
The remaining foot soldiers in Hell are desperate for a purpose and killing Hellboy is the best idea they could come up with.

 Mignola continues his (extremely slow) saga of Hellboy in Pandemonium, wandering about fighting demons. For the life of me I can’t recall much about this arc or when its telling the larger narrative its supposed to. Hellboy seems to be getting tired of it too, judging by his lessened fighting spirit this issue.
There are actual good parts here, like the demon troops lamenting the lack of authority in Hell which leaves them unemployed. Hellboy telling them not to pick a fight with him, said fight, etc. after that it becomes a reunion with a demoness he married from back in his time in Mexico (3 years after his latest stint with the BPRD apparently) and her urging him to complete his purpose, whatever that is.
While the story feels sparse, the art feels much more filling. Its still the Mignola abstraction that we fell in love with, with a few closeups here and there to show he’s not phoning it in. I still love his style, but over the course of this series, it seems his illustrations have become very stagnant and uninspired. Here though, somehow it feels like a return to form and Mignola actually using storytelling techniques to convey his script.
Overall, a half and half issue for me. Hellboy is heading for a fight with Beelzebub, I think, since he is the last reining demon head in hell but I still don’t know what the larger story is about or why Hellboy’s doing anything. It makes for a frustrating read when I use to devour each issue of Hellboy.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent
Disclosure: Publisher Dark Horse provided a review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.

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