Every new issue of "Hellboy in Hell" has inched the title character closer towards his grand finale. "Hellboy in Hell" #10 feels so natural and like such a perfect extension of what we've seen in the series so far that it's hard to believe it wasn't always Mike Mignola's goal to end his run on this note.
Mignola makes "Hellboy in Hell" #10 a tale of utter destruction in Hell, yet somehow manages to drape it in a despairing tone. Mignola smartly brings in a minor demon to narrate the sequence of events that unfolds here, and he provides a muted explanation of what happens as Hellboy encounters the remaining lords of Hell. There's something quietly powerful about the page that features Hellboy in all of his glory (long horns, flames blasting out of his mammoth right hand) as he strides along a blood-red background; the bottom of the page contains two panels: the first, the demon's head on a back background almost whispering, "Then I saw Leviathan rise up out of the sea," and the second, Leviathan's serpentine form on a green ocean. It's simple and understated, even as the power and strength of these images just builds. There's no need for long, drawn out battles here as Hellboy disposes of all the major forces of the netherworld once and for all and embraces his heritage.
As destruction rains down upon Hell, Mignola's amazing gift for architecture is still present. Churches, massive cathedrals, mansions -- you name it, and Mignola beautifully brings them to life with Stewart's vivid colors accentuating it all. Sometimes, the structures come raining down for added power; other times, they're just quiet little houses all clustered together. It's that gift with buildings that helps makes the final image of the comic so powerful. I may have gasped a little when I saw how just how Mignola chose to end the series. The visual sells it in such a way that Mignola doesn't have to stop and explain what's happening. All you need to really know is laid out on those final pages, and lovingly drawn.
"Hellboy in Hell" #10 is an incredibly strong conclusion to the series. As sad as I am to see Mignola wrap up his time with the character, there's also no denying that he did so with grace and beauty. I'll miss regularly seeing new comics of our square-jawed, massive-handed hero from Mignola and Stewart. Bravo.