By: Mike Mignola (Writer/Artist), Dave Stewart (Colorist)
The Story: Hellboy gets some explanation about who is the masked man that keeps on saving his life and what await for him in Pandemonium.
The Review: Mike Mignola continues his streak. He has done yet another completely satisfying chapter in Hellboy’s life, or rather, in his death. Indeed, the quality is maintained in this fourth and closing chapter of the first part of Hellboy’s saga in Pandemonium, as the author is taking a short break before the next couple of issues arrive, so we will wait a bit before the fifth issue arrive.
This wait shall be torturous, as this issue is so full of revelations, good moments and shows so much potential for the character, it is nearly impossible to accept that there are many months before the next issue. In here, Mignola does close to no action, only exposition. This could be fatal flaw for many books, but here it works perfectly, closing the chapter after the fights with Astaroth and his family. Here, we see just who the masked man who kept on interfering with Hellboy and those who wished him harm in the firsts chapters. Fans of Mignola and his whole universe shall be delighted to know that it is none other than Sir Edward Grey.
Being the protagonist of two mini-series that Mignola wrote some years ago, it is fantastic too see him being used so well in such a context, especially if you have read the aforementioned mini-series. If you did not, everything is explained in a short, yet ultimately mythical and fascinating explanation, bringing grandeur to the character. His explanations and exposition brings so much to the series and to the whole mythos of Mike Mignola. What also helps bring a sentiment of wonder and scope to the series would be the constant use of other works of literature in the story. Here, Mignola uses John Milton epic poem Paradise Lost to great effect once more. Really, Mignola cannot be faulted with a lack of ambition in his writing.
What he is also not lacking in would be in artistic expertise, as Mike Mignola continues the trend of utter quality that has been there since the first issue. His literary scope is only matched in his artwork, as he brings to us visions of Pandemonium, various demons and other strangeness seamlessly. He also brings us some classical architecture from the early 1900, showing us the research that he does simply in a matter of panels. What is quite surprising, in a good way, is the fact that despite the fact that this is what we could call a ‘’talking-head’’ issue, Mignola manages to makes it visually stimulating, simply because of the care he puts in so many of his panels. Of course, he is not the only one that makes this so pleasant to the eyes, as Dave Stewart is doing a marvellous job as a colorist in this issue. His use of warm and bright colors in panels full of brown, grey and other dull colors never ceases to amaze me, as he create a brilliant contrast with what is dead and what is not, what is moving and what is immobile. He does wonder like this everywhere in the issue, bringing us a visual feast that is just great.
The Conclusion: The latest chapter of Hellboy’s chapter in hell is full of grand myth, great character and absolutely stunning art. Fans of Hellboy shall be utterly pleased, I can assure you.
– Hugo Robberts Larivière