Comic Book Review – Hellboy in Hell #5
Written by: Mike Mignola
Art by: Mike Mignola
Colors by: Dave Stewart
What would you sell your soul for?
What would you do to get it back?
Jules Dulot knows the answers to these questions all too well as he and Hellboy take a stroll through Hell searching for the missing piece of Dulot’s puzzle in this morality tale.
The fifth issue of Hellboy in Hell is a beautifully somber short story written and drawn by Mike Mignola. While this is the fifth issue of the series, it is easily accessible to a new reader as it carries itself very much like a standalone book. For fans of the series, that may be a problem, but for a new reader it works well.
Here we see Hellboy take the back seat as the story’s focus is laid upon the head of Jules Dulot, an ex-soldier, who saved himself from a battlefield death but lost his essence in return. Mignola does an excellent job of bringing the Dulot character to life that it doesn’t matter that Hellboy plays second fiddle, actually, the story is better because of it. Jules Dulot is a sad and tragic character that sets the tone for the book and Hellboy’s attitude and snarky remarks are peppered throughout, keeping things from feeling too melancholy — it’s a great balance.
Mignola also steers the art-train bringing thin lines, heavy shadows and flecks of dimples and dirt in only a way he can. His character and creature creations are abstract while fully conveying the element he’s trying to get across. His panels are laid out well as each page has a very easy flow to it. And while his art is top-notch, there are a few silent panels that left me confused, unsure of what he was trying to say — perhaps these were nods to previous issues that make sense if you’ve read the whole run; but left me unsure.
This issue would not be as wonderful as it is without Dave Stewart’s colors. It’s his colors that suck you into this dim, muted version of Hell. The grays and browns blanket you as you swim in the sadness of Dulot’s plight and then BAM! Hellboy lights up his cigar and the panel bleeds red from the flame. The instances of extreme color variation are wonderful elements that provide excitement to this book.
Review score: 6 (out of 7)
Thoughts? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter (@theprophetlen)