Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction
This book was my introduction to Hellboy in the comic medium and I'm about kicking myself now for waiting so long to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed Guillermo Del Toro's film versions of this world, as well as Ron Perlman's (now I can say for sure) expert turn as the titular character. For some reason, though, I haven't gotten around to reading this work until now and man was I missing out!
What Mike Mignola has created with Hellboy is something very unique; something very much of its own. A horror, action/adventure comic that also seems to have a vein of the superhero genre running through it as well.
It's no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I love deep, expansive mythologies - ones that draw you into the world on the page and are so immersive and stimulating that by the time you've finished reading you feel like you've been transported back to your own, different reality. The ability of a writer to do this earns them great respect from me. And it's fortunate for Hellboy that Mignola has this skill in spades.
Not only is this world which Mignola has created expansive and immersive, it is also something entirely it's own. I've never read or seen a world like it. This is so easily apparent in the artwork, which is just phenomenal. Mignola has instantly become one of my favorite artists. Also, it would be a shame not to mention the perfect marriage between the coloring and Mignola's pencils. Absolutely divine. As for this storyline in general, I found it to serve as a great introduction to the Hellboy character as well as the Lovecraftian, paranormal world in which he operates.
Seed of Destruction shows a wizard under Hitler's employ, circa 1944, summoning what he doesn't yet realize to be Hellboy. This wizard shows up 50 years later to reveal to Hellboy that he summoned him because he is the key to unleashing great power of The Serpent. This wizard works for this Serpent, claiming he was contacted by it in a moment of near death. The Serpent seems to be an immortal entity that wishes to be "free" and the wizard intends to unlock its power to control the world. Hellboy, to put it simply, will have none of that.
Great story. Great mythology. Great characters. Stupendous art. 5/5 stars. Easily the best comic I've read this year. A must read for anyone who likes comic books!