After setting sail from the wreckage of a deserted island, Hellboy is taken on board the ship Rebecca where he is taken captive and planned to be sold to the circus. All the while a mysterious woman on board the ship is on the hunt to find a legendary sea serpent, that has existed since the dawn of time.REVIEW
You’ll probably notice we haven’t done a comic review in a while on this page. And that’s because we hate reading. I joke of course not, With everything going on It’s been tough to find the time to blank out the world take a seat & flick through a couple pages. Alas that gap has passed, and I have picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read since early March, Hellboy Into the Silent Sea. In all honesty I’m quite a big fan of Hellboy, but I haven’t once sat down and flicked through one of Mike Mignola’s own stories.
Although not quite the most conventional starting point, (literally the book’s story seems to be more of a diversion than an integral read). It was one I saw browsing online and thought I’d hop in to. The art work looked enticing enough and i’m a big fan of stories set at sea so how could I not? The story itself is set around Hellboy getting captured by the crew of the ship Rebecca to sell him on when their voyage returns them home. Though not everything goes… swimmingly on board, as secrets are revealed, and the captain has an alternative agenda than simple coin gathering.One thing that didn’t surprise me was the stand out art work by Gary Gianni, that’s complimented by Dave Stewart’s coloring. Not only does their combined artistic talent neatly sew in the unworldly horrors of the mythic paranormal, but infuses it with the central story. Reproducing an art style you’d expect from such adventure tales as Moby Dick or Treasure Island. Thankfully Mike Mignola & Gary Gianni are on the same page with the books tale, as the story reflects the very tales the art style is playing on. It feels like a short but sweet affair in Hellboy’s wide pantheon, but nothing spectacular enough to write home about.
What does work is the cautionary tale of ‘be careful what you wish for’ I mean we’ve seen and read this tale a thousand times before, but with the exceptional art work and twisted paranormal storytelling there’s a little something extra to spice it up beyond the norm. For the most part Hellboy spends most of his panel time tied to the central mass, discussing his thoughts and dealing with the ships crew & captain. It’s not action heavy but it is rather thought provoking, thanks to some smart writing. Witnessed mostly through the shifting chatter between Hellboy and the Captain. Though when everything does eventually kick off (because of course it will), it’s striking visually and well presented, hammering home the unworldly wonders and cautionary warning the book is all about.
The problem with Into the Silent Sea isn’t just that it feels like a filler book. There’s nice art work to look at without a doubt, but the central tale just isn’t enveloping as it needs to be to match the pay off it so desperately wants. It’s certainly an okay addition, but it’s predicable story, & tameness hold it back from becoming anything close to essential reading.