Hellboy: Makoma Review
Quite the title, that.
The action of Makoma takes place mostly as a dream/flashback. We learn that Hellboy has a strange history with the continent of Africa, and has only been there once in his distant youth. While in the Explorers' Club , he encounters a recently acquired mummy. While examining it, it speaks to him, relating the story of Makoma.
Makoma, it seems is an epic hero from the beginning of time, seeking strength and wisdom in a trek across the land. He is very strong, carrying an epic hammer of stone with which he pummels the giants and demons he encounters.
See any parallels? Good, then. Let's move on.
Hellboy is absorbed into the telling of Makoma's story, and is in fact cast in the lead role in the retelling. Makoma eventually becomes the herald of the birth of a new world, sowing life and land from what he has acquired. He is, in essence, a creator deity, whose death gives all else life.
Mignola provides a great deal to work with and think about in these two issues. The comparisons between the myth of Makoma and Hellboy's own traits is drawn clearly and obviously, but you aren't beaten over the head with it. It is also well contrasted with Hellboy's given destiny as a world-ender. Is this an indicator that we choose our own destiny, or that Hellboy is a deific figure? Perhaps he is being shown that he has turned through the wheel more than once. Given that the last Hellboy mini, The Island, gave us the history of the Right Hand of Doom, Hellboy's own "stone hammer", perhaps it shows us that destinies can come full circle, from creator to destroyer, and perhaps back again.
All in all, Mignola's attention to his storytelling is as great as ever, blending his characters flawlessly with legend, mysticisim, and the Lovecraftian mythologies that make up the core of his books. Hellboy: Makoma is highly recommended.