Koshchei’s tale nears its conclusion with this second last issue. Koshchei, having been tricked by the Baba Yaga, is now under her control. Even though such misfortune has fallen on him, he still manages to resist her orders in his own way – something Baba Yaga did not expect but she knows how to deal with such insolence.
Koshchei continues his story where he left off last issue sitting across from Hellboy in a dingy bar somewhere in Hell. His story aligns with some of what Hellboy knows himself and Koshchei talks about his encounter with Vasilisa. Vasilisa’s tale forms a large part of this issue and doesn’t really add that much value to the characters or main narrative of Koshchei that we haven’t already read before.
Koshchei must follow Baba Yaga’s orders to kill her enemies but even so he manages to resist her in some aspects. Some of which drastically backfire. Koshchei underestimates Baba Yaga’s spiteful and vengeful spirit.
As the reader already knows, she continues to be extremely cunning and evil. She knows how to torture Koshchei’s spirit. However, she only has so much patience for his rebellion against her.
The devil is in the details. This issue shines mostly for its use of colors to portray the tension throughout the story. There is not as much detail or flashy scenes as in the previous issues but it is understandable as the last few issues were pretty much the major climax of the story. Instead, the tale that takes place in this issue is expressed as sombre with few moments of relative calm. The colors are muted, with few bright contrasts.
This issue is a bit of a release from all the tension built up from the previous ones. It isn’t as important to the plot as the last issues but references other Hellboy comics and adds to the overall universe I assume. As such I wouldn’t say it was as good as the previous ones only on a plot basis. A decent read although it does feel a bit lacking in some aspects.
*Shakes hand at 180 degree angle*
Art - 80%
Story - 60%
Dialogue - 80%
Characters - 75%
A lot of minor references for experienced Hellboy readers but a major portion of the issue devoted to a "side story" leaves the plot lacking in substance.