Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reader's Diary #1169- John Byrne (Story), Mike Mignola (Art): Hellboy, Seed of Destruction

Hellboy, like Spawn, is one of those characters I always assumed, incorrectly, was a Marvel or DC creation. Hellboy is, in fact, owned Dark Horse Comics.

Despite my lack of publisher knowledge, I did pay attention to the critical praise of the series and that's what led me to it, finally, years after everyone else-- as is my style of course.

I'm not sure I'd say it was worth the wait, though I'd probably declare the first Hellboy volume to be a success. It was definitely interesting, in a weird way, and the art was cool, but I never felt connected to the plot. I was caught up in the weird, awesomely coloured Gothic Lovecraft inspired images (and as Lovecraft is thanked in the opening dedication, they were clearly intentional) and the sharp contrast between Hellboy and his context. He's summoned from hell by an Anton-Levay-looking Rasputin who's working alongside the Nazis, but raised up by a paranormal scientist and becoming a world-renown expert in his own right, working for the good side. Yet despite the hellish genes and paranormal expertise, Hellboy comes across as a strangely meat and potatoes grunt. He's no-nonsense and prefers to fight with his fists and a gun rather than any dark magic.

The story itself though? A bunch of occultish mumbo-jumbo disguising a classic evil wants to control the world story. If you're into that sort of thing, it would probably be cool. As for me, who's finds the concept of demons and all that jazz rather silly, I was still intrigued enough by the characterization and the cool art to consider reading another Hellboy comic at some point down the road.

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