Death in a comic book is about as routine as it gets. When Mike Mignola announced that The Fury #3 would be an epic moment for Hellboy, most fans took it to mean another "death and then rebirth" scenario. The Fury #3 does nothing to alleviate that idea, Hellboy’s death probably won’t mean the end of the series, but it does end it with much more style and mystery than most deaths. While Hellboy may return, he may not come back looking the way we’re used to, and his journey back is anyone’s guess. While he's not changing the idea that death is permanent in comics, Mignola has proven that you can have these deaths amount to something more than shilling a story arc.
The Fury draws to a close as Hellboy battles the dragon bringing Ragnarok, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. While Hellboy battles it out, his recent love interest is told of the end of times and how the new world will rise. According to the Witch, all Hellboy can do is make sure the voice man is silenced in the new world. It’s pretty harrowing stuff, and Mignola gives the story real tones of dread and sorrow. Most end-of-the-world battles are all action and they rarely make you feel like bad things are really happening. The Fury does this not with huge action moments, but quiet ones. There are images that strike of reflection; there are moments of real terror.
Images like that counterbalance the brutal fight between Hellboy and The Dragon. Let’s not kid ourselves, most Hellboy comics are as follows: big thing comes, Hellboy fights it, big thing dies. That’s still very true in The Fury #3, but the fight against the sorrow makes you cheer for the hero in a way you might not with Green Lantern or X-Men. Mignola has never been against selling his product, but he has never, in my opinion, focused Hellboy or B.P.R.D. on trying to sell some event idea. Story has always come first and The Fury #3 is no different.
My favorite is the death of Hellboy, which comes in a way you won’t expect. Mignola makes you feel that everything is okay before punching you in the gut. It’s a full circle moment, the idea that a quiet instant brings the end as opposed giant action. Tying all of these ideas together is the incredible artwork from Duncan Fegredo. He makes the fights brutal and violent while the scenes of sorrow and reflection are quietly drawn, almost whispers. The genius of what he does really comes across in the final page, the look at the devastation but the idea of hope and life moving forward. It’s very powerful stuff.
Some will take issue with how Hellboy manages to defeat an ultra-dimensional god-like being with his giant fist and a flashy knife and I think they’ll miss the point. Mignola tells a story the way he sees fit but he also knows this is a comic book. No matter what really happens the good guys always win, even if that win comes at a high price. That’s Hellboy in a nutshell, and I’m not sure what the naysayers are expecting.
CRAVEONLINE RATING: 9/10