Hellboy In Hell, Mike Mignola’s maybe temporary swan song for the character’s modern continuity, is one of the most esoteric chapters for a comic that was never afraid to go esoteric. Yet Minglola’s foray’s into dark abstraction have always worked partially because the Hellboy character himself is so grounded, underneath the satanic exterior and oversized Kirby glove, Hellboy is kind of just a dude and that’s endearing within the context of the many off the wall adventures and foes he’s faced with the BPRD. In Hellboy In Hell, Mignola stretched that component of the character to it’s limits but in issue #10, it ultimately ends up working in it’s favor as a heartfelt and satisfying conclusion for the protagonist.
Just explaining the series Hellboy In Hell in itself is relatively difficult as a whole from a plot perspective and the series finale is no different. A strange and borderline surreal story of Hellboy fighting a beast and then retiring to his own special corner of the underworld, the art is the main attraction here as Mignola & colorist Dave Stewart’s visual rendering’s are gorgeous and feel epic in their scope. While it’s difficult to parse out the reasoning behind Hellboy’s final conflict within the context of the entire series other then the obvious that it looks super cool, it’s no less thrilling to experience as a reader. The same goes for the books conclusion that follows the protagonist walking across Hell to his adopted home, a home that encompasses all the happiness the character has earned from the long running epic.
In the end, Hellboy In Hell concludes much as it always existed with both bombast and subtlety. From what started as a convention sketch, Mingola has made one of comics most successful expanded universe’s. As is evident from Hellboy In Hell #10, it’s been his to the very end. That’s a beautiful thing.
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.