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Koschei, Acheron, and a mysterious horned figure on the cover of Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics

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Hellboy will take one of the greatest folklore villains back to hell

Check out six pages from Mike Mignola’s latest Hellboy project with Dark Horse Comics

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Mike Mignola may have finished the story of Hellboy, but he’s not done with the big red guy’s world. With art from frequent collaborator Ben Stenbeck, Mignola returns to hell this month with Koshchei in Hell #1, continuing the story of one of his “favorite” characters in the mythos.

This is Mignola’s second Koshchei-centric series with Dark Horse Comics, after Koshchei the Deathless explored how a mortal warrior became the deathless slave of the Baba Yaga, with his soul hidden inside an egg that was hidden inside of a duck inside of a rabbit inside of a goat inside of a tree on an island past the edge of the world.

Returning to the character was “a real joy,” Mignola tells Polygon via email. “I’d done so much with Koshchei in Koshchei the Deathless that he could really do anything now, become anything. There was no endpoint for his story that I needed to get to. At the same time I’d put Hell through a whole lot of changes and left some bits unresolved, things hanging — So basically I just had to mash these two things together and see where things would go. As I recall, it really was just a matter of asking what would happen if THIS GUY went THERE and met this OTHER GUY — where would that lead? And it all ended up leading to some surprising places.”

“My dream projects are all about not drawing the real world,” Stenbeck says. “Cars, office blocks etc.” Fortunately, Koshchei in Hell opens in... Well, you can guess. “Hell is set up to avoid all of that boring stuff. It’s been a real pleasure getting to work with Mike in his Hell and having the opportunity to revisit places and characters he’s already drawn to create some new ones.”

You can check out a six-page preview of Koshchei in Hell #1 below, hitting digital and physical shelves on Nov. 30.

Panels of a city in Hell eventually focus on Koshchei reading on his couch in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics
Koshchei and a “ghost” discuss his responsibilities as the ruler of Hell now that Hellboy is gone in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics
Koshchei and a “ghost” discuss Pluto’s inevitable return in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics
The “ghost” tells Koshchei that he should keep looking for his goat and his soul and then departs, floating over the rooftops in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics
Figures arrive to ferry the “ghost” somewhere else, but a snake appears to remind him that he is not Acheron, but Edward Grey, an Englishman, in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics
The snake tells Edward Grey that England, which no longer exists, still wants him back, and he chooses England, in Koshchei in Hell #1 (2022). Image: Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck/Dark Horse Comics

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