"Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Originally Published as Hellboy: The Storm #1-3 and Hellboy: The Fury #1-3
Written by Mike Mignola
Illustrated by Duncan Fegredo
2011, 178 Pages
Trade Paperback published on March 7th, 2012
For those of you that didn't know, Hellboy died last year. Now, before you start giving me shit for spoilers, this was all over the place so it's not a huge surprise. Creator Mike Mignola killed off his signature character in an event that was the culmination of every Hellboy comic to date. The Storm and the Fury is the story not just of the death of this hero, but the dawn of a new world.
Hellboy has been through a lot of stuff in his life on this plane of existence. Lately we've been exposed to his madcap adventures in Mexico with lucha libre wrestlers, and he's also the current wielder of Excalibur, which makes him the rightful king of England. That sword should be used to stop an ancient evil that has finally made its way into our world.
As I mentioned, this trade is the payoff for all the previous Hellboy comics. It's what all of those books were building up to. Unfortunately, this means that there are numerous references to these earlier works, so if you're a new reader like me you might be digging through Wikipedia pages to answer a few questions. That is a small hindrance as Mignola crafts this tale in such a way that it will pull you in and never let go. You're with Hellboy every step of the way and knowing that he meets his end with this comic amplifies the significance of each panel.
Click images to enlarge.
Duncan Fegredo has the honor of escorting Hellboy out of this world and outside of Mignola himself, I don't know if there's anyone that would have been better suited for the job. Fegredo's art has a rough quality to it. You can see the burden in Hellboy's face that's mixed with hints of contentedness. He's been through so much and yet he has managed to find happiness with Alice and without a bottle. The pages with the two of them together make the battle all the more dire and heartbreaking.
The Storm and the Fury cements Hellboy's position as one of the top characters in comics today. He faced down the end of the world and he did it by himself. He didn't have a league or an avenging team backing him up. He was out there on his own, battling his way through hordes of undead soldiers to get to the dragon. He saves the world by making the ultimate sacrifice. Somehow I don't think that he'll be cloned or pop up in some alternate reality any time soon. At the very least, this book will make you want to go out and pick up every other Hellboy story to date if you don't have them already.
While Hellboy's part of the story may be coming to a close, Mignola really sets up B.P.R.D. in to fill the void in a big way. This next year will be an interesting one for the group.