“HELLBOY: THE FURY” #1 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on June 11, 2011

With nonstop brawling action and witty one-liners, HELLBOY: THE FURY #1 (Dark Horse Comics) is a highly entertaining piece of monster extravaganza. After learning more about his true origins, Hellboy unfortunately faces the consequences of losing his left eye. The dead are rising from their graves to serve a deadly and powerful master, a violent war is about to erupt, and there’s nothing Hellboy can do to stop it.

Secrets from a long-forgotten past are having an unfortunate effect on Hellboy. From his mother’s side, Hellboy discovers that he’s related to King Arthur, the once and future king. Upon learning this revelation, he refuses the throne as the “rightful king of Britain,” and chooses to make his own destiny. However, Nimue, an evil sorceress, has raised an army of lethal and bloodthirsty monsters. She will conquer worlds with her soldiers, and destroy humanity at the same time.

Hellboy sacrifices his own left eye to the witch, Baba Yaga, in order to prevent the upcoming war, mistakenly believing that she’s willing to help him. Unfortunately, Baba Yaga is lying, and intends to start her own war against mankind, undergoing a horrifying transformation at the top tower of her castle.

Surrounding the staircases, a league of walking skeletons blocks Hellboy’s path. Hellboy has to punch his way through as the skeletons slash at him with their swords. Exhausted and bleeding, Hellboy then has to face Baba Yaga, whose horrific transformation is finally complete. He has to defeat the hideous monster lurking in the tower, and then somehow stop Nimue’s imminent invasion.

Events just get worse and worse in author Mike Mignola’s suspenseful storytelling. The issue also contains an endearing theme about anti-war. In the subplot, a young soldier dies in battle and is resurrected by an angel. The soldier continues to live, but must always tell the story of how the angel saved him. Immortality has its lonesome price as the solider grows old, outliving his family and friends. Though this short story sidetracks from the main plot, it’s still a good read nonetheless.

The artwork by Duncan Fegredo captures the Gothic setting as Hellboy encounters witches and skeleton soldiers. The action sequences have an epic quality as if the upcoming war is going to build to a colossal size. The flashback sequences of the immortal soldier have a somber and lighthearted tone. The colors by Dave Stewart perfectly match each setting. Different shades of green hues are used to represent the witch’s tower and the highlands landscape.

HELLBOY: THE FURY #1 is full of monster mayhem. War is brewing, and this will be an epic battle that’s nothing like Hellboy has ever faced. Just when he’s needed the most, Hellboy finds himself lost and without any friends who can help him. Don’t miss out on all the action!