Hellboy is one of the greatest creations in comic book history, atl east in my opinion, and as his creator Mike Mignola finished his 20+ year run with the character earlier this month there doesn’t seem like a better time to recommend going back to the beginning and getting to grips with the ‘bringer of the Apocalypse’ and his fight to avoid his destiny. So lets look at why this book is worth your time.
Mike Mignola crafted Hellboy in 1993, where he was given his first breath of life in a ‘Dark Horse Presents’ book before appearing in his own first books forming the story arc ‘Seed of Destruction.’ From the very moment Hellboy appeared in print it was obvious that this was going to be something new and something very different, from the brilliantly sketchy yet detailed art work of Mignola himself to the very deep mythological story drawing on history that was centred around its cast and characters.
Mignola begins his tale with a Nazi cult led by Rasputin himself trying to bring forth the ‘Seed of Destruction’ which is an infant demon from hell to help Hitler win the war and take over the world. However things don’t go as planned and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) are on hand to prevent this and manage to shut down the device before Rasputin can pull the demon through and take charge of it. The opening feels tense and like it could very well be of what happened at this point in the war, and the sequences are brilliantly presented, including the arrival of the demon (later named Hellboy) in a cavern as a baby that knows nothing of its destiny or where it came from.
This is the premise for everything that comes later for Hellboy- can he outrun and avoid his supposed destiny if he is raised amongst men and taught to be human or will he eventually have to succumb and bring about the end of the world and take the ‘Crown of fire upon his head’ and become the king of hell. This book does a brilliant job of setting out Professor Brunhelm as the father figure of Hellboy who teaches him all he should need to know to belong and gives him a job at the BPRD along with a home so as he knows that he has a choice about his destiny and actions.
The book delivers on the story as it not only sets out the potential future for Hellboy but also intriduces some great villains with Rasputin and the Frogs- who are minions of another demon brought to the world. This also gives you the first real look at the right hand of doom of Hellboy and how powerful this truly is. Alogn with this you get some brilliantly presented story around Hellboys family within the BPRD and get introduced to the love of his life- Liz Sherman- along with a true friend in the form of Abe Sapien who is just as odd to look at as Hellboy himself.
This book is everything you would expect from a comic, it looks superb and the story delivers- getting you hooked fro the minute it opens. The world of Hellboy is something you should be invested in- and this is the perfect jumping on point and there has never been a better time now his tale has been told.