Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer/Artist: Mike Mignola
Cover Artist: Dave Stewart
Release Date: 4th of December 2013
This is basically just a lesson in storytelling, plain and simple. For those of you that need caught up, Hellboy is dead, and obviously went straight to hell, this done-in-one follows him helping a soon to be departed Captain trying to save his own soul.
From the very start, Mingnola shows that he is a master of his craft, the use of black-space and shadow makes for a haunting image of Hell, and the sparce use of colour by Stewart shows just how bleak things are in the fiery pit.
The narrative of the story is a familiar one to anyone that has read a HB or BPRD book before, while it is quite slow paced, it is info heavy and flows like silk, the attention to detail sucks you straight in and in this case you are instantly empathetic towards a character you have not only just met, but made a very, very silly choice (for the record, i’d have totally taken that deal as well!). There’s also an interesting point to be made about the wibbily-wobbily, timey-wimey-ness of the story, The Captain is from the 1800’s and yet is with HB in hell from our time, and so shows just how timeless the pit really is, because of course it is.
The only negatives to the story is that i wanted to have more of it and it felt like we could have seen more of the captains story before the end.
A nice jumping on point for new readers, it has a feel of A Christmas Carol about if for some reason, and for old readers, a near perfect single issue that just proves that you’re reading a book that was almost made for you personally.
It’s gorgeous, it’s bleak, the story’s short, you don’t need any previous knowledge, now go buy it.