“Hellboy: The Fury” is the culmination of several years worth of “Hellboy” stories, essentially the entire run drawn by Duncan Fegredo. With that much of a lead-up, it’s inevitable that your first thought might be, “It will never live up to all of the promise.”
Isn’t it great to be proven wrong?
“Hellboy: The Fury” #2 is almost entirely Hellboy versus the forces of the apocalypse, with a bit of exposition/narration thrown in for good measure. And quite frankly, it’s amazing. Fegredo takes everything in the script thrown at him and ups the ante in response. Seas of blood? The four horsemen? Thousands of corpses? Hellboy wrestling a dragon? Yeah, it’s all there, and it looks incredible. No panel is a throw-away here; there’s immense power in each drawing from Fegredo: lots of tiny little details for those looking closely, and big immense moments for those who just want to drink in the overall look and feel of the comic.
Giving credit where it’s due, this is in part thanks to how well Fegredo works with colorist Dave Stewart. From the lightning-blue skies as the electricity arcs down from the heavens, to the deep reds of the blood pools, every panel has its own color scheme that draws from and enhances the art. As we catch more and more glimpses of the apocalypse, Fegredo and Stewart make it feel as deadly as you can imagine, and then some.
Mike Mignola’s script is strong in its own right, of course. It would have been easy for him to try and gloss over this sequence of events, but he puts it front and center for most of the issue, bringing home the promise of so many comics up until now. And while Hellboy himself is an integral part of the comic, I appreciate that in many ways Mignola has made the apocalypse the main character of “Hellboy: The Fury” #2 rather than Hellboy himself. The spotlight is firmly shifted here, and from a storytelling standpoint it works perfectly.
This is the 19th of 20 “Hellboy” comics by Mignola and Fegredo, so it’s perhaps not the best place for a new reader to jump in. But that said, picking up “Hellboy: Darkness Falls” and then “Hellboy: The Wild Hunt” will get you two thirds of the way there. If you haven’t been reading “Hellboy,” those stories are a great spot to jump in. Thanks to Mignola and Fegredo, “Hellboy” is mandatory reading. Great stuff, from start to finish.