When you have Mike Mignola as the illustrator of HELLBOY you know that the art in the issue is going to be spectacular, and it was. The images in this issue and the layout of the panels is brilliant. Mignola shows us once again how he has managed to brilliantly capture simplicity and minimalism. His art in this issue is a little bit abstract and he uses a lot of dark shadows to highlight the characters and scenes in the issue. It's very well done and left me really impressed. This issue is worth a buy for the art alone.
The way this issue is written is Shakespearean in dialogue -- the language, the direct quotes from Shakespeare's 'Macbeth,' and just the overall layout and structure of the story is brilliant. Satan sleeps and Hellboy is given the chance to slit his throat, but will he? It's brilliantly written because the language is so eloquent. The structure and layout of this issue continues to resemble Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' in the way Mignola uses the "three spirits" that are sent to visit Hellboy to aid in the telling of the story.
We are two issues in and it is clear that although the creative team may take inspiration from other stories, ('A Christmas Carol,' 'MacBeth,') they are still obviously telling a story of their very own -- and a very interesting story at that. It is clear that Mignola is telling a very specific story, and it is not until the very end of the issue that we begin to really wrap our heads around what is going on in this issue. This is the the story of Hellboy's beginning; of how he came to be. In this story he will face his past, and the title of the next issue -- 'Family Ties' -- makes that very clear.
There really is nothing bad about this issue. I absolutely loved it.
It isn't only Mignola's art that is abstract, the story he is telling in this issue is as well. The second issue into HELLBOY IN HELL is brilliant. It's extremely well written and is clearly inspired by other forms of literature. The way that inspiration is taken and applied in this issue is brilliant and very well done. The art that accompanies the story in this issue is equally beautiful -- it is abstract and the colors are very specifically chosen to represent the tone and the story that Mignola is trying to convey. The result is a well written, beautifully drawn issue that is bound to capture the hearts of all Hellboy fans. I am definitely looking forward to issue #3.