Into the Silent Sea

Set during Hellboy’s “wandering” period, in Into the Silent Sea we find him adrift at sea encountering a ninteenth century whaling ship, The Rebecca, and being captured by its crew. Drawing on texts like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Moby Dick, Mignola and Gianni present an unnamed woman in black is leading the crew to find an ancient serpent that she believes will provide her with knowledge (her use of electrical light is a jarring contrast to the flames of the lamps the sailors use). It’s a seafaringly gothic affair with zombies, creatures from the deep and, of course, a Lovecraftian monster. Like much of the later Hellboy stories, it has a dreamlike quality (at one point Hellboy even says “If this IS a dream I wouldn’t mind waking up about now”). Hellboy himself adopts the “witness” role that characterise his In Hell stories.  Gary Gianni’s art has a suitably Doré-esque quality, which fosters a deliberately claustrophobic and foreboding atmosphere.

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