Hellboy continues his descent into Hell begun in the previous issue. His mysterious guide leads him through many empty places. The guide tells Hellboy that all save one have fled at his coming. They arrive at Pandemonium, the deserted capital of Hell. Hellboy sees his throne and crown jewels of Hell, which are his by right. Hellboy reiterates his rejection of damned glory. He then has the opportunity to slay Satan, the one being who has not fled because he's been asleep for two thousand years. A black panel quoting Macbeth ("Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?") and a bloody knife indicate he did. They move on to the river Cocytus, where Hellboy sees little fish, the souls of people who are begging for mercy. The guide and Hellboy have this exchange:
Hellboy: What are they?They continue on to the place where Hellboy was born and a particularly gruesome flashback of his birth and the attachment of the Right Hand of Doom.
Guide: Misspent lives. Not the great monsters, but the common damned.
Hellboy: And who decides who's damned?
Guide: Each man's soul is his own. How he chooses to spend it...that is for each man to decide for himself.
The blend of various mythologies is quite interesting. There are plenty of references to Shakespeare, Dickens, and Milton. Not a whole lot happens in this issue but a lot is communicated. As always the art by Mignola perfectly matches the mythology and murkiness. Hell has a creepy sort of wonder about it. Where the story is going is pretty unclear but I can't wait to find out more.
You can buy a copy digitally here. or look for a local comic shop here.