HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA
Story by Mike Mignola and Gary Gianni
Art by Gary Gianni
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover art Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
(Dark Horse HC, first edition April 2017)
This is an original graphic novel, following the events of HELLBOY : THE ISLAND.
The story is a real page-turner : even if it does borrow heavily from certain traditional folklore, the story is so compelling that it never once feels cliched or hackneyed. Moreover, Gary Gianni’s art is absolutely frackin’ brilliant all the way around, from layout and production design to the tiniest elaboration of detail in the maritime backgrounds – and the maritime abominations (as most of us know, abominations abound in any Mignolaverse story). Meanwhile, Dave Stewart shows us once again why colorists are the unsung heroes of the comics industry.
HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA is really an interlude tale and, as such, it’s a stand-alone story. Stand-alone short pieces are common in the Hellboy universe, but book-length interlude stories? I can’t remember one off-hand. HELLBOY IN MEXICO is a book-length stand-alone, but it’s not really an interlude tale – since it answers the long-standing question of what happened to Hellboy in that country, it’s really a prequel in the primary story line.
This is a quintessential Hellboy story, containing all of the elements that make the HELLBOY series and its spin-offs so great, which boils down to endlessly creative stories illustrated with truly amazing art.
Hence, HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA is the book to read, if you only have time to read one Hellboy book.
With all of this in mind, I can recommend this book to everybody who reads comics regularly, as well to anybody who likes supernatural fiction. Furthermore, I can recommend HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA for anyone who has just begun looking for an entry point into the rich tapestry of contemporary commercial comics. Or, to look at it other way, this is a current title that you can recommend to the comics pre-literate when they ask you to suggest one.
Please note that this review refers only to the print edition of HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA, inasmuch as I have not seen a digital copy of the title.
As with all of the titles that I review, HELLBOY : INTO THE SILENT SEA was provided by the Seattle Public Library.