Wow. Just, wow. I am still reeling from that last page of Hellboy: The Fury #3. Mignola, Fegredo, and Stewart pulled off the perfect slam-bang finish for their epic story arc. This is the end of Hellboy as we know him. This is the beginning of... something? I donít know yet. I do know that this issue was so amazing that when I finished the last page, I immediate returned to the first page and read it again. Then I did it a third time, making sure I didnít miss any of the details or any subtle clues that the Hellboy team may have worked into the story.
So, this is the end of everything. Hellboy is locked in a life-and-death struggle with the Dragon, the Ogdru Jahad, who appeared on Earth through the body of Nimue. The meeting of the two signals the predestined Ragna Rok, when the Champion of Man fights the Dragon in the Last Battle. Hellboy was never slated to win this fight, just delay the Dragon enough so that something of the human world might survive. But the Dragon has slipped its cage too early and tried to pick the fruit of the Earth before it was ripe. With this single flaw, maybe Hellboy has a chance. But it isnít going to come easy. And there will be a price. And he canít do it alone.
Itís hard not to gush about Hellboy: The Fury #3 without giving away all of the specifics that make this such an amazing comic, and each Hellboy fan deserves to read this spoiler-free. And then get together and talk about it, because trust me, you will want to talk about this one. Like that scene where Vasilisa... and then Alice... and the souls of five hundred drowned witches clutching at her heels... and the heart! Wow! The heart! Did that really just happen? What about the lilies? What does it mean?
You get the idea.
Artist Duncan Fegredo has outdone himself on Hellboy: The Fury #3. Each page, each individual panel, is a masterpiece. This is one of the most beautifully drawn Hellboy comics I have ever seen. From the huge, epic clashes, to the close-up emotional scenes, Fegredo hits every beat perfectly. And yes, he really can draw five hundred drowned witches and make it look both terrifying and incredibly sad all at the same time.
Dave Stewart, of course, canít help but be amazing. His impact on Hellboy can not be overstated, and he is as responsible for creating the Hellboy world as Mignola or Fegredo. There is a great scene where a sword turns from grey to gold, showing you just how much impact a colorist can have. And the ending scene with Nimue all in white... ah, there I go with the spoilers again.
Also props to editor Scott Allie. He played a very clever little trick on all of us, and one that was absolutely brilliant. See, after I had read Hellboy: The Fury #3 for the third time, I went through and read the letters column. Scott Allie placed a fine little gem in the text of the letters column, and I realized that I hadnít actually finished reading the comic until I saw the literal last page. Well done.
Ray Tate also reviewed Hellboy: The Fury #3. Read his thoughts, too!
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