- Series: Hellboy
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (June 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616554444
- ISBN-13: 978-1616554446
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hellboy in Hell Volume 1: The Descent Paperback – June 3, 2014
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About the Author
Mike Mignola was born in 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland, the eldest son of a tough and leathery cabinetmaker. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn't remember why) and reading Dracula at age 12 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.
Besides comic books, Mike worked on Francis Ford Coppola's film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), as a production designer for the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and was the Visual Consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008).
Mike lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter and cat. The author lives in Los Angeles, CA..
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Top Customer Reviews
We find out so much about Hellboy in this tale. Where he's from, and some more ideas about what his destiny is. We also find out the fate of another character, that was also a fighter against evil forces.
One long standing villain dies, but in a very Dues Ex Machina way. A bit contrived. You don't see it coming. That's my only real gripe.
I don't want to give any hints. You won't regret buying this book.
A tragic figure, the chapters of this book echo Hamlet, Richard, Henry and perhaps most of all MacBeth as Hellboy struggles with his kingly destiny on an empty throne in Hell.
Will he assassinate Satan? Will he defeat his scheming brothers to hold the throne? As the witchfinder Edward Grey serves as Hellboy's Virgil in this richly imagined Hell, what will we learn and how will Hellboy decide his own fate? What you know for sure is that it will be weird and Hellboy won't be impressed.
The big deal here is that the story and all of the art were done by Mike Mignola, so this is the Grade A stuff.
This volume, ("The Descent"), collects issues 1 through 4 of the ongoing series "Hellboy in Hell", and the story "Three Gold Whips", (sometimes identified as issue 5, and much more of a stand alone even though it takes place in Hell). The overall story will continue with additional issues, but in the meantime this is a solid entry and worth a few rereads because of the numerous inside jokes and references.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Hellboy in Hell (Vol. 1): The Descent by Mike Mignola
I'm a huge fan of Hellboy. I love all the books and both movies. I think the character is funny and endearing and perfect in every way. I really like Mike Mignola's art, too. So it was with great pleasure that I read Hellboy in Hell: The Descent, which is the first Hellboy book in many years both written and drawn by Mignola. Though he's continued to write many if not most of the Hellboy tales, he has not written all of them, and a good number of them are drawn by artists imitating his style. But in this latest volume, Mignola returns to his creation, with the masterful Dave Stewart adding colors and Clem Robbins acting as letterer.
This volume of Hellboy starts with a very brief, one-paragraph summary of the Hellboy story, ending with a one-sentence explanation of why Hellboy is in hell: "Shortly thereafter he fought a dragon and was killed." I won't give any spoilers about what happened before "shortly thereafter," but I do want to suggest that if you are interested in Arthurian Legend and have never read Hellboy, you might want to read this series from the beginning. However, if you don't want to start at the beginning, this volume makes for an excellent starting point, since in it, we find out about Hellboy's origin.
As the story opens, Hellboy is falling into the Abyss, or the outer edge of hell, and once there, he must deal with his past. Mignola has an appropriate scene for revealing the structure of this comic book: Hellboy, in another part of the Abyss, witnesses a strange, street puppet show performing A Christmas Carol by Dickens. Hellboy will also face his past, present, and future with some guides. However, he has one primary guide throughout most of the story, and this guide takes him to Pandemonium, the heart of hell, the Citadel of the Fly, where Hellboy is shown the throne and crown (which eerily floats in flames), both of which he has refused. His guide suggestively tells him: "Your father's sword . . . His ring of office . . . All rightfully yours to take." But Hellboy refuses them again. He also is given the opportunity to kill Satan who has been sleeping for 2,000 years. And Hellboy decides to . . .
This collection of five individual comics is episodic in nature, but in a good way: Hellboy finally has explained to him how he got his strange hand; he meets his two elder, and very angry, brothers; and he witnesses a man who has sold his soul for gold. As always, Mignola smoothly incorporates literary allusions, from Dickens to Shakespeare's MacBeth and Milton's Paradise Lost. Though Lovecraft is not cited, Lovecraftian creatures seem to be the inspiration for some of the creatures we see in Hell. The story about selling the soul for money, of course, is a well-known story, but Mignola puts his own twist on it, and by having Hellboy meet one man right before his soul is claimed, we get to see our main character interrupt the action and disturb in his own odd way the expected outcome.
It's been a year or so since I've reread the first Hellboy book, so I hesitate to make too bold of a claim: I think this book is not quite as good as that first one, but it might be that I'm merely overly familiar with Hellboy now, and as a result, he's unavoidably lost a certain amount of novelty. Still, this new trade collection is very good, and it offers one more way to enter the world of Hellboy. I would suggest starting with this book, the first Hellboy ever, or even the movies. At the very least, though, start somewhere: You don't want to go through life without enjoying Hellboy, one of the best modern creations in the world of comics. In a field of art where the most popular characters are still ones that were created between 1938 and 1968, Hellboy, created in 1993, is still a rare exception.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you've read the entire 12 Trade series of Hellboy, you're ready for Hellboy.Read more