Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola

details
Title: Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1
Story-Arc: Seed of Destruction
Writer(s): Mike Mignola & John Byrne
Illustrator(s): Mike Mignola
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Format: Paperback – Omnibus
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Pages: 368
Genre(s): Comics, Horror, Fantasy
ISBN13: 9781506706665
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

thoughts

It’s a bit hard to not have heard of this giant red ape-like creature. His presence alone invades the atmosphere and his charisma steals the show. And to turn him into the world’s greatest paranormal investigator too? He’s easily a character that has left a huge mark in our pop culture and is here to stay. Although a bit underrated, Hellboy has his fair share of lore to share with us and it is one that will please a lot of horror and mystic fans. His now completed comic book has given birth to a couple of spin-offs and is now being released in this perfectly-ideal omnibus editions to collect Mike Mignola’s award-winning stories in a chronological order perfect for readers. This first volume collects Seed of Destruction (Volume 1), Wake the Devil (Volume 2), and the stories “Wolves of St. August”, “The Chained Coffin” and “Almost Colossus” from The Chained Coffin (Volume 3).

How exactly does Hellboy‘s saga begin? In this first omnibus the story begins by throwing readers back during the World War II era where a special Nazi team led by Rasputin conduct a strange summoning that ultimately leads to the birth of a baby Hellboy in a church in Britain. While the Nazis believe their plans have failed, Rasputin claims that he has initiated the end of the world. For almost half a century, this demon-child who was taken in by Professor Bruttenholm, grows to be an agent of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) in New York. Tagged along with Liz Sherman (a woman with pyrokinetic abilities) and Abe Sapien (an amphibious man), this team investigate strange happenings and uncover the truth behind them while discovering themselves and their place in the world.

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The lore and the characters are where all the praise should be redirected to. With an underlying touch of Lovecraftian mythology, this story draws upon the mystical world to recreate its own air of horror and mystery. With various references to iconic mythologies and characters, Mike Mignola sets up his world in a basin of strange and ugly creatures that constantly harass Hellboy in his unrestrained and untroubled behaviour. Its especially the style and manner that each threat is approached that poignantly mesmerizes you. While it isn’t exactly an easy-to-dive-in series, it does rapidly capture your heart with all the charming and short dialogues, as well as the brutal and fun action sequences by Hellboy. As fascinating as it is to learn about the Ogdru Jahad, frog-monsters and vampires, it is how Hellboy will deal with them that makes this so fun.

It is worth mentioning that the artwork is not something that will please everyone. The style is perfect for Hellboy and grows on you, to the point where it quickly becomes easy for reader to associate it to this series. It is really heavy on shadows and on rough character designs, and rarely focuses on emotions and details. The creepy and edgy designs help in fact to convey the eerie and creepy mood that emanates from many of the settings featured in this story. The transitions aren’t smooth either, and is axed more of frames of key moments in order to let readers imagine the sequence and fill the gap with their own touch of creativity. But with dialogues that are so poetic and that often sound like satanic incantations, as well as snappy one-liners, readers aren’t ever really left to their own.

If there’s one thing that I’m happy about, it is the fact that the main series is complete and that they are now being recollected into these omnibuses. If I had read the first volume alone (Seed of Destruction), I would have heavily questioned its reputation since it is far from enough to understand why Hellboy is such an iconic character. In this omnibus, it is much easier for fans to appreciate every characters development and the overall world-building that is set up.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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Hellboy (2004) was directed by Guillermo del Terro and loosely adapted Hellboy: Seed of Destruction with Ron Perlman as Hellboy! A reboot is on the way (2019) with David Harbour taking on the role of Hellboy, and Neil Marshall directing the movie!

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36 comments

  • I liked both Hellboy movies. They were unabashed horror comic adaptations and I thought they did what they set out to do. I’m definitely interested in a reboot movie too.

    That being said, I don’t know if I’m interested enough to go check out, or buy, a bunch of GN’s. I might just live vicariously through YOUR experience 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. I still remember how creepy the movie was when I saw it as a kid. I plan on re-watching them once I finish up with the original comic book run (not all the spin-offs). Also curious to see how they’ll do the reboot. Without Del Torro.

      I guess that works. 😀 Maybe someday you’ll run into a copy and just test it out real quick to see what you’ll think of it on the spot. It might magically seduce you somehow. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great review as always! I have never read the Hellboy comics, but I have ofcourse seen both movies and loved them immensely (no idea yet how I feel about the new one that’s coming out). I have not read the comics, and despite the fact that I like what I am seeing here (for me the art works, and as you say fits perfectly to the tone of Hellboy) I don’t think I will be reading this. With so many things I still have left to read, one simply can’t read everything. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks man! I’m optimistic about the reboot. It’s going to be hard to convince die-hard fans, but if it stays loyal to the original character, it should be decent. Hahah of course! You definitely have to prioritize. Otherwise, you’ll never get around to reading what you really want to read. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    • And now you know about the comic book series and about the upcoming movie reboot! Hope the former or the latter will interest you enough to check them out some day (the latter when it comes out). 😀 Thanks for reading, Norrie!

      Liked by 1 person

  • I know it is no shocker being that del Toro directed them, but I really enjoyed the films. This is a story I feel like I can get behind and you have me wanting to pick this up now that there is an omnibus! Wonderful review Lashaan and I see what you mean about artwork. But I can dig it!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I really loved both the Hellboy movies, and I’m finally going to read comics soon, after I finish my adventure with Punisher MAX… Hellboy is just so fun, while still having and interesting and coherent story, I hope I’ll enjoy reading as much as I did watching 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m actually waiting for a nice deal on that Punisher Max omnibus to finally check it out myself! Glad to hear your interest in the red demon’s comic book story, sir. I can assure you that the comics is a whole other experience compared to the movies! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Confession: I’ve never really understood the fascination with Hellboy. That said, I’ve only seen clips of the film, cells from the comics, and a few random asides from my friends. I’ve never actually read these comics. Like you pointed out, there is a steep entry into this world. The art doesn’t appeal to me and I’m not that into the premise. But I can understand why Hellboy has such a cult following after reading your review. I feel so well-educated now! Fantastic review, Lashaan. As always. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, his horror-paranormal stuff is not for everyone, and the comic book series even less. You have to be really into all the Lovecraftian-weirdness and what not to even be intrigued by this stuff. There is however something that warants its worth and proves why it has a fanbase behind it. The movies are probably a lot easier to appreciate though. I’m glad to introduce you to it all though. It definitely makes me happy to help everyone realize what exists out there (just like others do, indirectly, for me). Who knows, maybe someday you’ll be so curious that you’ll actually try out Hellboy’s original comic book series or his movies (maybe the reboot will be appealing for you once it comes out). Then again, if I understand correctly, you aren’t much of a TV series/movie person though, right? Thanks for reading, Jackie! I appreciate it a lot! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Correct, I’m not really into TV/film. I don’t have the focus for them. I find my mind wandering! XD

        I haven’t read any Lovecraft myself yet. Perhaps I’ll start there and see if his works appeal to me? In that case, I can just keep following the bunny trail, as it were. Who knows, perhaps Hellboy is in my future?!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Yea, the artwork isn’t one I will go for but man, I’m intrigued by the story. It’s often recommended to me, and I think I have the first volume. I’ll have to read it soon. It sounds like something I’d like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guess you’ll have to see for yourself then! 😀 But as I’ve mentioned, the first volume ALONE will not be the most enticing experience ever. I preferred this omnibus cause I was able to determine if the style and story direction was any good. If it was solely based on the first volume, I would have had way too many questions regarding the popularity of Hellboy hahah 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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