Since Halloween is this week, I decided to showcase a comic that goes bump in the night: HellBoy: Seeds of Destruction #1 by Dark Horse Comics.
I have been a huge fan of Mike Mignola‘s artwork for many, many moons, from the very start! Back in 1993 at the San Diego ComicCon, I had the opportunity to talk to him personally, and he mentioned that he was creating a brand new comic series called HellBoy. He felt uncomfortable drawing more super hero comics, and wanted to dive into the horror genre, his main passion. He talked about his interest in very obscure horror folktales and stories, and how he wanted to incorporate those kinds of stories into HellBoy. Sign me up! I have collected and enjoyed every HellBoy comic that has come out since.
This comic is HellBoy’s first comic in his own series, and kicks off his origin story. The year is 1944, World War II is winding down, Hitler knows he is losing the war and enlists a group of Nazi occultists, led by Rasputin, who attempt to open a supernatural portal and unleash hell of earth. Rasputin is stopped by an American Army squadron, along side Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, the head of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense organization (or B.P.R.D. for short). Rasputin does manage to open the doorway, but instead of unleashing hell, a baby HellBoy is brought through the portal to Earth. HellBoy is found by the Americans, where he is cared for and raised by Trevor Bruttenholm, back in America.
Years pass, HellBoy grows up and becomes a member of the B.P.R.D. group, and eventually becomes the World’s Leading Paranormal Investigator! While HellBoy’s appearance is menacing to look at, he is a giant teddy bear and has a huge heart of gold, unless you are of course a monster that he is investigating! As this series progresses you are introduced to other members of the B.P.R.D.
Mr. Mignola has crafted an incredible world, rich in interesting colorful characters and with amazing scary monsters. Mignola’s artwork is bold, dark, and haunting. He paints his pages with an incredible number of shadows and blacks. His artwork is very unique, my wife can recognize a Mike Mignola drawing miles away! The stories contain sinister plots, and there is a very Gothic and H.P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu feel to the stories. This world contains witches, werewolves, vampires, demons, and monsters under the bed. This series is very unique, and if you are looking for something different that steers away from the typical capes and superheroes, this comic series is for you. This perticular comic is key because it is the first main HellBoy comic, and kicks off a long series of mini series of stories, that continues today 25 years later. It all begins here…
And as a bonus, this comic contains a backup story, Monkeyman & O’Brien by fan favorite artist Arthur Adams! This backup story is a fun adventure comic story.
This comic series is also the basis for the pair of HellBoy movies by Guillermo del Toro, with Ron Perlman who plays the the lead character of HellBoy. The movies are fun and are semi-faithful of the material from the comic series. The long running comic series has so many great classic stories and has crafted an immense world-building long term serial story. Story elements are planted in early series that pay off much later on. The more you read, the more enjoyment the comic fan is rewarded. This long form story, told over many years is my favorite type of comic book stories! Can’t find the original issues, pick up the amazing HellBoy Library volumes that reprint the entire HellBoy saga in six oversize hardbound volumes at most large books stores or online websites like eBay.com or Amazon.com. Don’t forget to check out the other companion comic book series like the B.P.R.D. or Witchfinder all based in the HellBoy universe. I highly recommend them all.
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #45 (2015) has the NearMint of this comic at $32.00. The value has increased 7% since the year before, and an overall increase of $29.00 (1067%) since 1999. This key comic is still way under valued for such a long running comic book character and series. A good solid investment!