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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2004
Wake the Devil is the second Dark Horse Comic issued 4-issue series about Hellboy and the difference between the writing from Seed of Destruction to Wake is substantial. Mike Mignola took over sole writing duties for Wake the Devil after John Byrne's stint on Seed of Destruction. Mike Mignola never really wrote a full-scale plot and story for any comic he's drawn, but his inexperience in Wake the Devil is minimal. Hellboy is his creation and the world around him as well. He's lived and breathed the character since he is also the creator. Who else but the person who created the idea would know how to write the stories properly.

Wake the Devil has less of the Lovecraftian-theme that was Seed of Destruction. Instead Mignola treats his fans and readers to a story about a Romanian aristocrat is is reputed to be a vampire sired by the Greek demoness, Lamia. In addition, Mignola mixes in a healthy dose of Nazi's leftover from WW2 who have ressurected from an icy slumber to try and return the Third Reich to prominence through occult and vampiric means. Mignola's heady mix of the occult, European folklore mythology and plain old 30's style detective noir give Wake the Devil a better written story than Seed of Destruction. Mignola as a writer is not bad and since Hellboy is his creation there really is nowhere for Mignola to go but improve.

Wake the Devil is a perfect blend of a well-written story and great artwork. Having Mike take over as writer in addition to continuing as artist earns Wake the Devil 5-stars that Seed of Destruction failed to reach.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wake the Devil is a superb second take on the Hellboy saga and is just as good, if not better, than Seeds of Destruction (its hard to compare the two because both are so good). Its a bit more bleak/darker than its prior, introducing even odder concepts and distortions of myth to weave a story all its own. Yes, it seems there are Nazi plots galore for everyone's favorite paranormal investigator to deal with, not to mention the addition of Roger, B.P.R.D.'s first "contact" with a human-sized homunculus. Also included is a five-page epilogue dealing with Baba Yaga and The World Tree, a concept introduced in the comics but only added to the in this graphic novel forum. The graphic novels also clean up the coloration, giving you more crisp images than the comics could ever dream of.
A word of caution to those thinking that the numbered books can be taken out of sequential order without hurting the storyline. It can indeed be done, but Wake the Devil should be a second step taken in the reading "evolution" of the Hellboy saga because of some of the characters/events/plot lines started have either been groomed or are birthed here.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2004
This is the second Hellboy graphic novel. It is an improvement over the first one, as we get to know the old characters better, and interesting new characters are introduced. Creator Mike Mignola's Kirbyesque artwork is terrific, and this time he handles the writing himself (the first graphic novel was scripted by John Byrne). I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I will explain that Hellboy is a paranormal investigator who appears to be a demon. This book is dedicated to Dracula, which should give you a clue as to what he encounters this time. This book should be especially appealing to people who like The X-Files or Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but I would encourage anyone who is a fan of sophisticated comic books to check it out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon September 25, 2004
This second Hellboy mini-series from Dark Horse found Hellboy creator Mike Mignola taking on sole writing duties (legendary X-Men and Fantastic Four scribe John Byrne took script writing credit for Seed of Destruction) as well as art, and he surprisingly managed to craft a slightly better book than Seed of Destruction. The story revolves around our favorite paranormal investigator taking on vampires, while all the while Ilsa and Kroenen await the return of Rasputin and the end of the world: something which Hellboy is the key to. Full of creepy atmosphere, stylish storytelling, gothic art, and loaded with revelations and a few surprises, Wake the Devil reminds us just why comic books are so fun to read. If you're one of the many who saw the recent film and dug it, you should really check out every Hellboy graphic novel you can get your hands on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1998
If your'e a fan of goth, horror, detectives, stylized art, or good comics, this is one for you. Mignola delivers another great yarn in the Hellboy mythos. This time out, Hellboy comes face to face with what might be his true nature and purpose on earth. By way of a hallucination the story of his origin is recounted to him in visions. Hellboy is thrown for a loop when one of the visions adresses him directly. The fun of this series is in getting to this point in the story. And even more fun is seeing the humanity in the demon detective when he gives the apparition his reply. If you're a fan of art like I am, you'll love the guest pin-ups in the back. I liked this book because it presented us with a more in-depth look at the character's backround and it was consistently better than the offerings that preceeded it (which were all great!)If you like this book, there are other Hellboy books in print as well as a text novel by Christopher Golden with illustrations by Mignola. Not to mention the great body of work he's only illustrated. Why don't you stop reading this and order it already!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
With "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" Mignola again shows his strength in weaving together unconnected folklore and his own inventions, creating a seamless fantastic reality that grows with every story. Darker, more confident than "Seeds of Destruction," the mythology comes together.
Nazis, Imperial Prussians and Greek and Russian goddesses make for strange bedfellows, but here we have a Napoleonic vampire Commander, Vladimir Giurescu, the delightful Nazi scientists Ilsa Haupstein and the Ragna Rok Project, Rasputin the Mad Monk, the Baba Yaga, the Greek Goddess Hecate and of course a living Head in a Jar, all conspiring against our heroes. Fighting for the good guys are the usual cast of Abe Sapien, Hellboy and the BRPD. If that isn't enough to get your appetite wet, then you are reading the wrong customer review.
More than most series, "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" advances the overall plot of Hellboy's story, uncovering key points of his origin and destiny. The epilog, only available in this trade paperback, adds an interesting element to the story of the Baba Yaga and Rasputin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2009
I think what makes some of the Hellboy stories so interesting is the missing pieces. Mignola has such a deep history with this character that he doesn't always explain everything, which is a good thing. If he took the time to extrapolate on every thing he ties into the story, the story itself wouldn't go anywhere. The art is awesome and every volume I pick up makes me what go out and get every tpb involved in the world of Hellboy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2001
I found this book to be every bit as enjoyable as the first book (Seed of Destruction). I also found that this book had a couple of weak points to the plot, and in the pacing of the storyline, just like the first book.
However, those where the only weak points. The rest of the story was very enjoyable and well crafted. The art is simply stunning. I will continue to read more of "Hellboy" in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2007
Wake The Devil is better than its predecessor, "Seed of Destruction". The writing is far more cohesive, entertaining, and flows without the hiccups that plagued "Seed".

Rasputin returns with another presence from beyond calling the shots, but Mignola also works in a few more historical or legendary figures, including Dracula (or a stand-in for him), Baba Yaga and the Furies, as well as introducing new characters like the goddess Hecate, the evil industrialist Roderick Zinco, the "brain in a jar" mad scientist Herman Von Klempt and several other well-characterized Nazis. Mignola also adds a touch more overt humor to this volume along with some terrific banter and a sense of history between Hellboy and his B.P.R.D. compatriots, hints more at Hellboy's mysterious destiny without veering into "chosen one" cliches and basically maintains and even widens the eclectic mix of genre influences while seeming more focused and sharper in general. There's nothing really wrong with Seed of Destruction, but Wake The Devil is really where Hellboy comes together.

One of the things that really struck me about Wake The Devil was that the characters seemed to be having more fun, and that comes across in some ways as Mignola having more fun as well. Flying solo without Byrne as scripter and obviously bolstered by the success of his first Hellboy effort, Mignola seems more confident of himself, more sure that Hellboy is what he wants it to be, and that confidence comes across not just in a more complicated backstory for the villains but in a general sense of fun in the characters. There's even some outright slapstick, such as Hellboy's jetpack failing or Abe's sardonic "Hellboy's blowing things up again" when Castle Giurescu goes up.

What I really liked, though, was a slight shift in the dialogue. Though it's not so noticeable as to be jarring, Mignola does sort of get away from the more bombastic and Silver Age elements of Byrne's scripting in this volume, replacing it with a more wry tone that veers from scholarly to regular guy with ease. Quotes from William Blake and pompous, insane rants by Rasputin exist alongside good Hollywood banter like Hellboy heading off to Romania in search of good food with the Bendis-like turn of phrase "paprika chicken, baby!" Hellboy in particular benefits from an infusion of a little more humor and confidence, trash-talking his opponents and muttering to himself in self-deprecating tones when he gets himself into trouble. Of course, it's not just in the humor that the dialogue shines, as Mignola has a gift for the villainous turn of phrase, as when Nazi villainess Ilsa utters the memorable bon mot "Oh, I would cut open the world to see it bleed." Now that's what I call a bad guy line of dialogue!

Leaving aside the manner of the storytelling in terms of dialogue, Wake The Devil also benefits from a complexity of design. The plot that Hellboy goes out in search of is tracking down a vampire who may or may not be the legendary Dracula. In the course of this investigation, he runs afoul of his old nemesis Rasputin, who is tied in with an Elder God-like "Dragon" and a trio of Nazis who originally helped raise Hellboy, as well as a mad scientist villain that Hellboy had a run-in with in a previous short story. What's amazing isn't just that all of these villains (a good half dozen in all) are so interesting and well-fleshed-out on their own, but that Mignola's tale links them all, from vampire to Nazi to mad monk to mad goddess to Russian witch/goddess, and it all just flows so well together. There's a sense of a tapestry behind all of this, and if Mignola hadn't figured out by this point just what Hellboy's actual destiny was and how he tied into all of this, well, his script certainly had this reader fooled on that score.

The only aspect of Wake The Devil that isn't an improvement on Seed of Destruction is the artwork, because it would have been very difficult to improve upon. Mignola does open the book up a little, shedding some sunlight and open spaces on the B.P.R.D. and getting them out of creaky mansions and swamps exclusively, but he maintains the mood with European castles, forgotten labs and haunted forests too. The change in colorists, from Chiarello and Hollingsworth to Sinclair, is also a slight change but can't really be called an improvement, as all are expert colorists and Sinclair's work here is excellent, perhaps a little stronger on the brighter, sunlit aspects than Hollingsworth or Chiarello might have been but otherwise just a continuation of the strong coloring we've already seen. In addition, Mignola has some spectacularly choreographed action scenes in Wake The Devil. Probably the most memorable is Hellboy's brief but powerful showdown with Giurescu, but his fight with Hecate or the Furies is equally impressive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mike Mignola, Hellboy: Wake the Devil (Dark Horse, 1997)

Somehow I got my spreadsheet mixed up and had Wake the Devil as the second Hellboy book, not the third. (Not that it matters, my library's copy of The Chained Coffin seems to have walked off and not been replaced.) So I find myself with a hole in the story that gets referenced a few times in this book. The story here does stand alone enough, however, that I only had a few slight episodes of dizziness while trying to figure out what on earth the characters were talking about.

In any case, Hellboy's Nazi friends have returned, and this time they're trying to resurrect Count Giurescu, a vampire so unstable, and so powerful, that even Hitler was loath to make use of him when Ilsa brought him into the fold back in the forties. The B. P. R. D. are sent to stop them, if possible, but since they can only narrow it down to three possible sites, they have to split up. Guess who ends up falling, quite literally, into the middle of a ceremony? But the undead and substandard chicken paprikash are far from the only threats Hellboy faces in Rumania...

I've been back into graphic novels since the middle of the past decade, and I have no idea how I let Hellboy slip past me for so long (especially since I love del Toro's movies). This is good old-fashioned superhero madness crossed with Tales from the Crypt, and it's all sorts of fun. Alan Moore, in his introduction, talks about Mignola's art being influenced by Jack Kirby, but it seems a bit cruder than that to me, and I often find myself wanting a bit more detail here and there to flesh things out. But it gets its point across, and the story is wonderful. Fun stuff indeed. *** ½
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Customers who viewed this also viewed
Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction
Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola (Paperback - March 30, 2004)

Hellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others
Hellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola (Paperback - February 3, 2004)

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