The kernel can be configured to output messages to the serial port and to the attached monitor. However messages from init and syslog only appear on the last-listed console device, in our case the serial port.
This can confuse someone looking at the attached monitor, as the messages on the monitor suggest that the machine has hung just before starting init. Eventually the machine will finish booting and getty will display a login: request. A Post-it Note on the monitor may reassure the impatient.