Endings, closure and finality. Is the hero victorious or has he fallen to the might of a villainous evil? Will he rise an angel or die as a demon? These questions haunt the final issue of this most recent of sporadic tales featuring Hellboy.
Hellboy faces the greatest evil in, appropriately, hell. Here he makes his stand, with a lesser demon being the sole witness to proceedings.
Creator / writer/ artist Mike Mignola takes his creation for one final spin around the block, giving him a massive decision, the outcome of which, will have a huge impact on the character. Thanks to the “know everything in advance” element of the comic book industry, everyone knows this is the last issue of this run and maybe even the last issue of ongoing Hellboy books. However, the thing with a book like this, is that even if the destination is known, there is still enough fantastic story telling in play for the reader to enjoy the journey. Of course, like a Sat-Nav system that gets confused on a one way system when you miss your turn, there is no guarantee you will end up where you expected to be.
This book is, in its entirety, a work of art. Everything about it exudes class. The monologue pretty much lays a pretty sparse affair of heroic actions taken to benefit others with the promise of the unasked reward. Regardless of how great the story or dialogue is, it will always be Mignola’s art that will attract my attention. Here, it’s no different. Throughout the book there is a quiet resolution tinged with a kind of sadness that can only accompany someone when they reach their life’s goal. Is this a reflection from Mignola himself? Consider how outstanding his work with this character and the Mignola-verse on a whole is. Will there ever be a chance to create a book as unique as this again? Fans of the aforementioned Mignola-verse will mention Abe Sapien, Baltimore and of course B.P.R.D, which whilst do indeed carry a supernatural torch, the flame of which flickers in comparison to Hellboy. Of course, Dave Stewart is on hand with his usually fantastic approach to colors and darkness and the relationship between the two.
I haven’t read every issue of this last (for now?) run. Surprisingly, supernatural books aren’t really my cup of tea. For me, it’s the quality of the work that I look for. With this in mind, it’s easy to realize that Mike Mignola is a creator on top of his game and whilst I am by no means a huge Hellboy fan, this issue carries with it a resonance that makes the conclusion that much more satisfying.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
STORY BY Mike Mignola
ART BY Mike Mignola
COLORS BY Dave Stewart
LETTERS BY Clem Robins
COVER BY Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart
PUBLISHER Dark Horse Comics