Current Reviews


Hellboy: The Fury #3 (Ray's review)

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011
By: Ray Tate

Mike Mignola
Duncan Fegredo, Dave Stewart (c)
Dark Horse
The crescendo and the coda. Hellboy battles Nimue for the sake of humanity as Ragnarok's effects ravage London. For the longest time, Hellboy fought against his fate: to become the king of Hell and bring the demons to raze the earth. It's only with these latest chapters in Hellboy's story as accompanied by stellar artists Duncan Fegredo and Dave Stewart that Mignola suggested Hellboy was not doomed to prophecy. He was in fact a true heir to Arthur's Excalibur and with that sword, he could destroy the coming darkness.

In the conclusion of The Fury Hellboy engages in a final epic duel against Nimue, now subsumed in the dragon. Nimue speaks in poetry. Hellboy is gutturally coarse. The dragon is a an elegant, beautiful beast. Hellboy is blunt and ugly. Perhaps this is why he is the champion of humanity. We aren't the most beautiful creatures in the world nor the most melodic, but we are the most intelligent. We can distinguish good from evil, and we know how to defy what seems to be our destiny. Hellboy exemplifies our greatest assets.

Hellboy scores a great victory, but those looking for a happy ending must look elsewhere. The supernatural assault of London alludes to the Nazi bombing. Ordinary people that are powerless against superior forces huddle for protection, in vain, and awaken in a daze to find their homes leveled by occult bombardment.

Evil cheats. Mignola anticipates the questions from his loyal readers. Hellboy has destroyed many a monster, why would this one be his bane? Evil cheats, and in doing so, the great fiend that Hellboy faces reminds him that he is a creature like those he fights. He is not the form of man, and the rules of magic apply to him.

The denouement brings pain and suffering for Alice, and those words do not do the artwork justice, for Fegredo roils these emotions of misery to the surface and expresses them as if Alice were a real person. You care for Alice, and you wish that you could comfort her, but she remains alone with emotions that burn her eyes and river tears down her cheeks.

Fegredo began illustrating Legends of the Dark Knight covers. Even then his artwork was extraordinary, and when he arrived on Hellboy, you realized that Mignola had found a soul brother, but its these scenes with Hellboy's lady love that you realize how much he added to the mythology. Whereas Mignola is largely symbolic, delicately subtle or bombastic, Fegredo comes from the school of realism, and because this story dealt as much with humans as it did Hellboy, Fegredo was necessary to give this tale heart.

Hellboy and Alice fell in love, and it's their love, the stakes, that added a personal level of loss to merit The Fury as a fitting harbinger of the conclusion to the Hellboy saga.

Zack Davisson also reviewed Hellboy: The Fury #3. Read his thoughts, too!

Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!