Hellboy, my old friend, returns in a one shot about death, regret, and the sea. Does it measure up to the old brimstone magic?
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Gary Gianni
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Soooo… ok. I love Hellboy. We’ve seen me drool over his adventures time and time again. But this? This didn’t do it for me plot wise. It was great art wise, however. This is a very odd reversal for my usual way of approaching all comics, and it’s kind of got me scratching my head.
The plot is perfect Hellboy, involving some mysterious ghosts, sea monsters, a good dog, a nice boy, and a secret and hidden city and the mysteries of the universe.
That’s kind of the problem. I’ve read so much Hellboy that the old tropes of evil creature filled with unimaginable power, and lost cities of the ancients have been done to death. We’re treading over very well trodden ground.
I don’t know what I expect from my Hellboy stories now, but these big set pieces are not clicking for me. I think I want Mike to go more gothic than colour out of time going forward, and I think the lack of the B.P.R.D. or any grounding in reality is the thing that pulls me out. Hellboy having one foot in the real world really makes these tales resonate, and this is far too out there.
Having said that, the artwork is gorgeous. This is scratchy and thick lined worn wood artwork in a story that takes place on the sea and has thousands of creepy undersea monsters–and those creepy crawlies are set alive with line and color.
Hellboy: The Silent Sea is a treat to look at, but the plot didn’t make me sit up and pay attention; rare for ol’ hornhead.