Read first chapter of Mike Mignola's epic horror comic Hellboy in Hell for free
Hellboy is dead. Long live Hellboy.
Mike Mignola's big red monster hunter has spent almost 30 years as a star of both page and screen (he's now been featured in three live-action film adaptations, two directed by Guillermo del Toro starring Ron Perlman and the latest a reboot starring David Harbour), but in 2012 it seemed like his adventures had come to an end. Hellboy appeared triumphant after a climactic battle with the legendary witch Nimue and the monstrous Ogdru Jahad, only for Nimue to spend her last breath ripping his heart out and dragging it down to Hell with her.
But death was not the end for Hellboy. Mignola soon followed up with a miniseries called Hellboy in Hell, which true to its title sent its protagonist on a Dante-like odyssey through the infernal regions. Though Hell had long been promised to Hellboy as his birthright, the hero maintained his refusal to accept his dark destiny even in the face of demon lords in their places of power. Remarkably, Hellboy in Hell also featured Mignola's return to illustrating comics as well as writing them after collaborating with artist Duncan Fegredo for several years of Hellboy comics.
"I’d been away from drawing comics for a long time," Mignola tells EW. "I’d gotten burned out and it took a long time for me to recharge my batteries, but with Hellboy in Hell I think you can tell I was fully charged. Basically I stepped back in and created a whole new world for Hellboy to run around in."
The complete 10-issue Hellboy in Hell comic miniseres has now been collected as volume 4 of Dark Horse's recent line of Hellboy Omnibus editions, but you can read the first issue for free here exclusively from EW.
The creativity practically crackles off the page in this comic. The first issue alone, as you can see below, features a literal fall into the pits of Hell, magical battles with Lovecraftian demons, the return of Sir Edward Grey (who often appears in his spin-off Witchfinder comics) to the Hellboy mythos, and the Scrooge/Marley scene from A Christmas Carol reenacted by skeleton puppets.
Fans of Mignola's art (or readers who become one after checking out the pages below) should also treat themselves to the prolific sketches he's drawing in quarantine. Mignola's Twitter is now filled with his own stylistic takes on characters from Adventure Time, SpongeBob SquarePants, cereal mascots, and more. Like DC Comics publisher Jim Lee, Mignola is even auctioning off some of these sketches on eBay. The latest auction features sketches of Batman as a giant robot and Hellboy fighting the kaiju Gigan from the Godzilla franchise, alongside a painting of Hellboy with the Japanese superhero Ultraman. It will remain live for three more days, will proceeds going to Chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen, which is currently working to distribute meals around America as the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic.
Check those sketches out below (and bid on them here if you so choose), along with the first issue of Hellboy in Hell.