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Makoma 1
Title Makoma or A Tale Told by a Mummy in the New York City Explorers' Club on August 16, 1993
Story by Mike Mignola
Art by Mike Mignola & Richard Corben
Colors by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Edited by Scott Allie
Originally Published in Makoma #1-2
Internal Numbering Hellboy #25-26
Date Published February - March 2006
Collected in Hellboy - Volume 7: The Troll Witch and Others
Library Edition Hellboy - Volume 4

Makoma tells the story of a legendary African king, told to Hellboy by a mummy. At the same time Makoma's story parallels Hellboy's own life.

Publication HistoryEdit

Makoma was originally published as a two issue mini-series from February to March 2006. The story was later collected in Hellboy: vol. 7 The Troll Witch and Others in October 2007.

Makoma is the first Hellboy story to feature art by someone other than Mignola.


The frame of Makoma is set in 1993. Hellboy travels to the Explorers Club, and a mummy speaks to him. Within this frame is the story of the legendary king, Makoma. For the most part Makona is drawn as though he were Hellboy, though in the final scene Makoma himself, an African king, is depicted.

The frame is drawn by Mike Mignola, Makoma's story by Richard Corben.

Part OneEdit

Makoma takes place on August 16, 1993 at the Explorers Club in New York. Hellboy speaks with Prof. Ali T. Koman about his recent archaeological excavation in Africa. Koman was forced to abandon the site because of a sand storm, but was able to bring back a number of antiquities including a mummy. Hellboy mentions that he only traveled to Africa once.[1] The men of the club comment that he traveled to Africa with Trevor Bruttenholm in 1947, and that more recently Bruttenholm's expedition was given up for lost.[2] Hellboy has a flash of memory, thinking about the time he spent in Africa as a child, when a giant rhino spoke his name.

The mummy begins to talk to Hellboy, and beckons him to travel to the lost city, and tomb of kings. Hellboy wanders the ruins as the mummy begins to tell him the story of Makoma.

Makoma could speak when he was born and named himself “he who is greatest and without fear.”

Hellboy falls asleep while listening.

Makoma was cast into a deep pool and the next day emerged fully grown holding an Iron Hammer, having killed all the crocodiles in the water. The elders tell Makoma of the problems in the land, and he sets out on his journey.
First he finds an old woman, who gives him a bag to hold the bones of his enemies. She tells him to carry it until they meet again at the end of the world.
He travels many years and crosses paths with a series of four giants. Each one is enraged by his name, and fights him. Each one is defeated and shrinks so small that Makoma is able to place them in his bag. Next Makoma finds a demon. He also fights the demon and defeats it. The demon tempts Makoma to kill him, take his power, and “become what [he] was meant to be.” Makoma fashions a cage made of sticks and traps the demon inside.

Part TwoEdit

Makoma approaches a man sitting in front of a town of singing people. The man asks Makoma to lay down his burden and stay. Makoma sees that the town is really full of corpses. The man wanted Makoma to be his slave, and is infuriated. He summons a group of giant ants that fight Makoma. After many days the man says he will release Makoma if only he can keep Makoma's bag. Makoma immediately gives his the bag, and replies that he just wants to keep his cage of sticks. The man demands the cage and returns Makoma's bag. Makoma leaves as the man opens the cage. The demon emerges and burns the man and his town of the dead.
Makoma travels on for years until he comes back to the old woman from the beginning of his journey. Makoma goes to sleep in the woman's hut. He is visited in his dreams by the spirits of great chiefs, in the form of lions and the spirit of Africa, in the form of a giant rhino. When he awakes, a feast is waiting. Makoma eats every last scrap. He asks the woman where the meat came from. She responds that he has eaten his friends, the giants he carried with him. Makoma looks into his bag and sees a boy standing on a pile of bones. The woman tells him the boy is the life Makoma gave back to the world. The boy was once possessed by the demon, but Makoma saved him. Makoma goes out to meet the end of the world.
Makoma faces a seven headed dragon. The two fight, and with the strength of his friends, they are evenly matched. In the end both the dragon and Makoma fall together. When Makoma died the world was created anew out of his bag, and the boy emerged last of all.

The narration returns to the mummy in the ruins of the city. He tells Hellboy that he was that boy, and that he built the city as a monument and tomb for Makoma. His story told, the mummy crumbles to dust. As a result of this Hellboy was banned from the Explorers Club.

Connections to Other StoriesEdit

The entire story parallels Hellboy's own life,[3] or a possibility of his life. The most clear aspect is the seven headed dragon which represents the Ogdru Jahad. This story suggests a possible ending for the entire Hellboy story; the Ogdru Jahad will be set free and Hellboy will fight them to the death. Both will die, and in that death the world will be able to start over.

Hellboy travels to Africa in The Third Wish. While there he falls asleep and is visited by lions, these may be the spirits of great chiefs seen in Makoma #2



  1. Hellboy's travel to Africa was previously mentioned in Conqueror Worm #4
  2. Previously mentioned in Seed of Destruction #1
  3. Mignola notes the parallels in his introduction to the story in Hellboy: vol. 7 The Troll Witch and Others
Hellboy Publication Order
Preceded by
The Island
Followed by
The Hydra and The Lion
Hellboy Trade Paperback Order
Vol. 7 The Troll Witch and Others Vol. 8 Darkness Calls
Preceded by
The Ghoul
Followed by
Darkness Calls
Hellboy Story Chronology
Preceded by
The Ghoul
In The Chapel of Moloch
Followed by
Seed of Destruction

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