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Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent (Hellboy in Hell #1-5)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  547 ratings  ·  101 reviews
After saving the world in The Storm and the Fury but sacrificing himself and Great Britain, Hellboy is dead, cast into Hell, where he finds many familiar faces and a throne that awaits him.

Mike Mignola returns to draw Hellboy’s ongoing story for the first time since Conqueror Worm. It’s a story only Mignola could tell, as more of Hellboy’s secrets are at last revealed, in
Paperback, 152 pages
Published May 21st 2014 by Dark Horse Comics (first published January 29th 2014)
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I'm a big fan of Mignola's work, and Hellboy in particular. As such, I've been looking forward to this new series for a while.

That said, this first book in the continuation of the series didn't really flip my switch.

If I had to point at one reason why, I'd probably have to say that I felt like Hellboy was too passive. Things happened around him and to him, but he himself didn't seem to be doing much.... well... protaging. If he's the protagonist, he should protag.

There was one section that wa
3.5 stars

Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines

I've read very little about Hellboy in the past (maybe 1 or 2 volumes?), so I'm not exactly an expert on Mignola's creation. In fact, the majority of what I think I know about Hellboy comes from the movies. So you can basically take my review with a grain of salt.

The hardest thing for me to overcome was the artwork.
Ever since I read Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon, I've been trying to become more tolerant when it comes to graphic novels that don't hav
Sam Quixote
The short version of why Hellboy’s in hell is that at the end of the last Hellboy book, The Storm and The Fury, he slew the dragon and saved England but died when he was caught off guard and the ghost of the witch Nimue plucked out his heart. This is what happened next…

Hellboy in Hell isn’t just the title of the book but a pretty accurate summary of what happens in the book. There isn’t a plot, it’s just Hellboy wandering around hell looking at stuff with a variety of different Virgils explainin
I loved this book as I was reading it. In some ways, it reminds me of the best of Hellboy. The dreamlike narrative, the eerie and half-glimpsed settings, the use of supernatural elements and way Mignola weaves in folklore and literature, all things that I'm always happy to see in Hellboy. And the art is as good as I've ever seen Mignola's. His style doesn't work for everything, but it's perfect for something like Hellboy.

But after the fact, I realized that I didn't really remember much of what
Apr 16, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of graphic novels
Hellboy is actually in hell for this story, which had Hellboy creator Mike Mignola return to write and illustrate, and it serves as an odd sort of origin/family tale for our anti-hero. But the focus of this comic was more on mood than plot. It had an ever-present muted macabre feeling to it, aided by the stunningly beautifully minimalist art and equally beautiful coloring work, a lot of classic literary illusions -- from Shakespeare to Milton to Dickens, and only an ethereal whisper-thin thread ...more
Hellboy goes to Hell, and nothing much happens! Mignola throws in lots of allusions to Milton, Shakespeare & Dickens as Hellboy just wanders around for five ponderous issues. Some nice nods to his past such as how he got his giant hand, but there just weren't any moments that grabbed me. As always, Mignola's art is amazing, but I found the story, or what little there is of one, quite uninteresting.
Orrin Grey
Of course, I'd already read all five issues on Dark Horse Digital, but actually holding the first Hellboy trade written and drawn entirely by Mike Mignola (with phenomenal coloring by Dave Stewart, as always) in almost a decade was a whole other feeling. Mignola is my favorite creator, and this is him working at the top of his game, both artistically and as a storyteller. It really doesn't get any better than this!
Fantasy Literature
I'm a huge fan of Hellboy. I love all the books and both movies. I think the character is funny and endearing and perfect in every way. I really like Mike Mignola's art, too. So it was with great pleasure that I read Hellboy in Hell: The Descent, which is the first Hellboy book in many years both written and drawn by Mike Mignola. Though he's continued to write many if not most of the Hellboy tales, he has not written all of them, and a good number of them are drawn by artists imitating his styl ...more
If you're a fan of Hellboy and haven't caught up with his adventures in it now!
Mignola does a wonderful job following through on so many earlier bits and pieces strewn throughout the Hellboy mythos, there are some resolutions, some revelations and new mysteries hinted upon. Great stuff!
This is truly an origin story. You get not how he came to be on Earth, which has been told before, but how he came to be in the first place.

Having died in the previous installment, Hellboy returns home to find all the princes of hell and their armies have fled rather than face him. The center city is deserted except for one old enemy and Hellboy's half-brothers egged on by his uncle who all have designs on the key he carries. That all ends pretty abruptly and he kind of just wanders around final
I really enjoyed this, really dark and creepy vibe to it. Hellboy is one of those "Cool" characters whom I look forward to reading more of in the future. I also liked the old references to classic books etc.. in this.
Well, Pandemonium for more of the book, actually. Hellboy's dead, but not gone. Instead the destiny that was assigned to him rears its face again, and he faces down both the destiny and the others who want to claim it. This is actually a fairly introspective book; there are a few big battles with his 'brothers' and an unhappy victim or two of his from life, but in general the book focuses on filling out the whys and hows of Hellboy, why he was created, and how it happened. Sir Edmund Grey makes ...more
Oh Hellboy, you're in it now. After having sacrificed his life to save the Earth from a Hell on Earth scenario, our average joe hero finds himself falling into his birth land. Here Mignola gives us a somber, lonely and stark view of the Land of the Damned. And it's here Hellboy comes face-toface with his father. This was a story twenty or so years in the making, but the impact would not have been as grand had we not had those intervening years to know this man.
Hellboy is not without friends her
Andy Shuping
ARC provided by NetGalley

Hellboy. The demon that forged his own path to be more than a prophecy, more than what light or dark chose for him to be his own demon rather. When we last saw him however, he had given his life to save the world. And for the first time he is returning to his father’s world. But the world is not all that it’s cracked up to be and Hellboy’s fight has not yet ended. Even though he has declared his intentions not to take the throne of hell itself, he must
Michael Nash
Man, I didn't realize how much I missed Hellboy and needed him in my life until I started this new trade paperback. And this is the good stuff; completely written and drawn by Mike Mignola (sorry Duncan Fegredo, but your run just wasn't the same). It's filled with the classic Mignola moody composition and visuals, as well as the Mignola weird juxtaposed dialogue. The first four issues form an arc that's basically set-up for the Hellboy in Hell premise, but also take you on a fantastic whirlwind ...more
Matthew Brady
Well, this was pretty cool. Hellboy died in his most recent story, so now he's in hell, ready to face his ultimate destiny as the leader of an army of demons that can conquer all existence. He's not going to actually do that, of course, but seeing him directly confront the forces that have been trying to manipulate him into that position for hundreds of years is pretty exciting. And we also get some great Mignola-style Dante action, as various guides lead Hellboy through the different realms of ...more
I received a copy of this from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.


I love Hellboy, I feel like I should make this abundantly clear because I was more than a little bit biased coming into this review. I knew I was going to love this and I wasn't the slightest bit disappointed. Mike Mignola has created such an interesting world full of rich and interesting characters. So having him back is nothing short of heavenly (sorry Red, that joke sounded so much better in my head). Hellboy in Hel
The real draw for this book is the fact that it's the first time Hellboy has been written AND drawn by creator Mignola for quite some time. And the artwork throughout is truly gorgeous. When someone has Mignola's level of talent, it really is a crime to withhold that from the world. The story is kind of meandering, as Hellboy becomes acclimated to his new surroundings, but I think that's a strength, since we the readers need to familiarize ourselves with the place, too. Hell is kind of a mishmas ...more
Callum Shephard
Despite his comparative youth, the origin of Hellboy is a story more publicly recognized than many of Marvel or DC Comics’ classic heroes. Drawn to Earth in an occult ritual, a demonic child is left stranded among humans. Taken in and accepted by them, he soon becomes their champion against supernatural threats which they face despite his destiny to bring about Armageddon. However, that’s not quite the beginning is it? We know nothing of his origins in Hell, what made him so different to others ...more
Pop Bop
Positively Shakespearean in Scope

This may well be the best presentation yet of Hellboy, from his birth and his father's intentions for him to the end of this particular story arc we see much more of who and why Hellboy is than ever before.

A tragic figure, the chapters of this book echo Hamlet, Richard, Henry and perhaps most of all MacBeth as Hellboy struggles with his kingly destiny on an empty throne in Hell.
Will he assassinate Satan? Will he defeat his scheming brothers to hold the throne? As
I read this book first as each individual issue came out, and recently reread all five issues in a digital preview of the full trade. "Hellboy in Hell" is among Mike Mignola's finest work. The first four issues collected in this volume touch on many long-running plot elements, some running since "Seed of Destruction" twenty years ago. For longtime fans this volume is especially satisfying for many reasons, none of which I shall mention here for fear of spoiling something. Just read it.

The fifth
Nathan Harrison
(The trade isn't out just yet, so technically this is a review of just the material from issues 1-5 in the new run, which will make up the collected book)

First, *so* glad to have Mignola drawing his baby again. He's proven adept at picking other artists to fill in while he's been writing up a mad storm (Duncan Fegredo being a particularly excellent stand-in), but there's nothing like the spare grace of Mignola's own pen.

Second, I never thought I'd be so content to see Hellboy dead. Like, for rea
Stewart Tame
Good stuff! I'm always happy to read Hellboy. That said, this book exemplifies some things about serial fiction that I'm going to rant about for a bit. It's nothing against this book in particular, so please don't take home the impression that I hate it, because I don't. So this book is actually something like the 6th or so in the series. But the only way one can possibly know that is if one consults a list of available Hellboy books. Heck, there's even a "1" on the spine, by which I take to mea ...more
Travis Mueller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's a new start for Hellboy in a new plane of existence--Hell, as the title indicates--and he's left navigating old foes wanting revenge and new faces hoping to take advantage of the apocalyptic power of our hero's left hand.

This volume is largely exploratory as Hellboy acclimates to his new home, guided by a familiar figure from the Mignola-verse as well as a series of spirits inspired by the three ghosts from "A Christmas Carol."

Mignola handles the art as well as the drawing, and the hellish
I think the Hellboy comics are going to be something I read in trades. I love reading the story arcs all at once, and going back over and over to check out the art. As an aside, if you haven't checked out Mignola's concept art for Disney's Atlantis yet, go see it. Really cool stuff.

I find myself in a tough place, reviewing these. If I try to explain the story, it would take the fun out of it just a bit. Creepy puppet show versions of Ebeneezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley, Hellboy's half-brothers, t
Kevin Mann
I am reviewing issues 1 thru 6, which i read in single issue form. For the most part i enjoyed it, Mignola's characterization of Hellboy is so skilled, effortless & second nature, it makes him a joy to read in these pages......where it gets dicey is what swirls around hellboy, which is from a storytelling standpoint, often confusing, unclear and at best chaotic. I didnt get the feeling Hellboy was truly in any peril, and yes, while he is, in fact, DEAD, it still seemed almost too casual & ...more
Alice Marsh-Elmer
This books marks a return to the character of Hellboy by comic artist Mike Mignola, and a well-deserved one. Mignola's imagination beautifully portrays a unique landscape for hell and the worlds/places Hellboy travels to in this small collection. The brevity of Hellboys dialog throughout, tinted with sarcasm or dark humor at moments, is Hellboy at his best--he thinks himself a simpleton, yet the powers that operate around him know his story contains much more. The demons and devils that Hellboy ...more
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Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn't remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.

In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began wo
More about Mike Mignola...

Other Books in the Series

Hellboy in Hell (5 books)
  • Hellboy in Hell #1
  • Hellboy in Hell #2
  • Hellboy in Hell #3
  • Hellboy in Hell #4
  • Hellboy in Hell #5
Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction (Hellboy, #1) Hellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others (Hellboy, #3) Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil (Hellboy, #2) Hellboy, Vol. 4: The Right Hand of Doom (Hellboy, #4) Hellboy, Vol. 5: Conqueror Worm (Hellboy, #5)

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