Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"I promise you, you have nothing to fear in this place."
"Because we're invisible?"
"Really? I thought for sure we'd be invisible."
"No need... there's no one here to see us."
"You sure about that?"
"At the news of your coming, your death, and your descent into hell, they all went in a rush to hide themselves in their own far countries."
"All the Princes and ministers of Hell... all the Dukes, Marquis, Earls, and Knights... all fled, along with their legions of demons."
"Not that I'm sorry to have missed them but why?"
"This way... the citadel of the fly, once the seat of... the beating heart of pandemonium... but no more. They are all gone now... save one."
"You better not mean me, because I've been through all this crap before."
"No. Not you. You've made your position very clear."
Ah... easily the best HELLBOY arc I have read in the last few years. As ole Red's saga eventually draws to a conclusion, it suddenly feels like it is right back on form. Even including the action-packed previous volume HELLBOY VOL 12: THE STORM AND THE FURY, whose cataclysmic events have resulted in Hellboy's potentially one-way ticket home being issued, it felt like things were treading water slightly for the last three volumes or so. I have a sneaking suspicion regarding precisely why that may have been, all to do with the epic events ongoing over in BPRD: HELL ON EARTH, that perhaps Mignola was getting things... aligned... for the grand finale, as there is still rather a lot of story to be told in that particular title, but possibly not.
Anyway, this first part of the 'Hellboy In Hell' arc, storyline has many of the touches of truly classic HELLBOY material from over the years, with brooding mystery and arcane mythology expounded in elaborate detail, as Hellboy whips out the wisecracks all the while. Also, it's nice to see Mignola on the art again. Whilst I have enjoyed everyone else's work on this title over the years, especially Duncan Fegredo and excepting Richard Corben (purely a personal preference, I know many of you love his rubber faced antics), it is great to see Mignola returning to finish his labour of love off personally. Not so much a jumping on point then, as a long kiss goodbye...