The prolific demon is finally getting all his tales collected in one series of volumes. Normally this is where we ask, “is it good?” But c’mon. You know what the answer is here.
Collecting the original adventures of Hellboy in chronological order, Hellboy Omnibus Vol. 1 is a great introduction to one of the premier characters in comics outside of the Big Two. The volume collects “Seed of Destruction,” “The Wolves of Saint August,” “The Chained Coffin,” “Wake the Devil,” and “Almost Colossus.”
With the exception of “Seed of Destruction” which had a script by John Byrne and color art by Mark Chiarello, the collection is entirely the work of Hellboy’s creator, Mike Mignola, color artist James Sinclair, color separator Dave Stewart, and letterer Pat Brosseau. As such, the book has an incredibly cohesive feel. Flip to any one of the beautiful pages and you’ll see a visual consistency.
It’s frankly very easy to fall in love with the book based purely on the visuals. Whether it’s the gothic aesthetic, or just Mignola’s dynamic fight scenes that punctuate the stories.
This is a beautiful book.
However, the stories told also deserve mention. Part detective story and part supernatural war, these early adventures of Hellboy really established this gothic noir that would come to define the series and character. Mignola’s brooding lead makes for a great protagonist as Hellboy struggles with the existential while also facing his life head-on with a dry sense of irony.
The collection also features a supplemental end, with sketches and designs by Mignola for the various characters, including some early work for Hellboy’s father, who would not appear until later. Also included are two short stories, penned by John Byrne with Mignola on art, that were used to promote the initial run of “Seed of Destruction.”
Is it good?
For those who have only been acquainted with the character through the films, Hellboy Omnibus Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction provides a great entry into the long running series. Mike Mignola’s character has become prolific in his own right, and the work here speaks for itself. Mignola’s bulking monstrous figures and James Sinclair’s dynamic color art makes for quite the read.
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