- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books; Library ed edition (May 20, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593079109
- ISBN-13: 978-1593079109
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 12.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 235 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hellboy Library Edition, Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil Hardcover – May 20, 2008
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This handsome collection of the first two Hellboy arcs is comparable in splendor to DC’s slipcased Absolute gatherings of Sandman and The Dark Knight. Arc one, Seed of Destruction (1994), is Hellboy’s origin story (but see Hellboy Junior, 2004, for his prehistory), revealing how Nazis were behind it all, though they were being used by that old Russki bogeyman, Rasputin. The somewhat longer Wake the Devil (1997) shows Hellboy putting the kibosh on the worse-than-Nazis scheme Rasputin got rolling in Seed. Scott Allie introductorily opines that Hellboy isn’t the red demon we know and love ’til Wake, but Mignola’s Ben Shahn–meets–the Austrian Secession–meets–Mervyn Peake style is uniformly magnificent. --Ray Olson
About the Author
Mike Mignola's fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age; reading Dracula at age twelve introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore, from which he has never recovered. Starting in 1982 as a bad inker for Marvel Comics, he swiftly evolved into a not-so-bad artist. By the late 1980s, he had begun to develop his own unique graphic style, with mainstream projects like Cosmic Odyssey and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. In 1994, he published the first Hellboy series through Dark Horse. There are thirteen Hellboy graphic novels (with more on the way), several spin-off titles (B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder), prose books, animated films, and two live-action films starring Ron Perlman. Along the way he worked on Francis Ford Coppola's film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), was a production designer for Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), and was the visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). Mike's books have earned numerous awards and are published in a great many countries. Mike lives in Southern California with his wife, daughter, and cat.
Top customer reviews
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For one, this book is HUGE. I had no idea that it was that large. The pages are thick and over-sized, which is great for me. The art looks incredible when it's blown up to this size on the page. You can really see every detail that the artists put into the drawings.
The cover itself is worth noting. It has a very soft, velvety feel to it, but is also quite sturdy. I really love the appearance of it, and I'm sure any Hellboy fan would be glad to have this displayed on their collection.
I'd say this is a great book for people both new and old to the series. The blown up art is awesome enough to draw me in, and I'm extremely satisfied with how great this book is.
Recommended to ANYONE who loves comics or wants to give them a try.
To me Hellboy is a superhero with a strong influence. I love the way the creator of this series draws his characters. He definitely up there with Jack Kirby,Bernie Wrightson snd Mike Ploog.
The one flaw is that, inexplicably, "The Chained Coffin" (a short story) is left until Volume 2, despite taking place between the two chapters in Volume 1. But this omission can be forgiven, as the story doesn't bear on the main plot. For those who insist on reading the comics in their proper order but don't have the second volume handy, "The Chained Coffin" can also be viewed (in faithful animated form) on the Dark Horse website.
The Sorcerer, wearing some odd apparatus on his arms, powered by an electrical generator, casts a spell from a rocky hilltop resembling Stonehenge. A bolt of lightening-type power issues from the rod he holds in his hand, and strikes the church where the rangers are gathered along with their special forces. When the smoke and debris clear, a small being is hunched down on the floors, looking as though he were part demon and part little boy. It is Trevor Bruttenholm who names him: Hellboy.
Skipping many years into the future, Hellboy comes to visit Trevor, now an old man. Trevor, who had been like a father to Hellboy all these years, tells Hellboy of the failed "Cavendish Expedition" he has just recently returned from, way up in the Artic Mountains. He and the Cavendish "Boys" had found some ruins high up in the frozen cliffs, older than old, and inside beneath a mammoth carved pillar is a statue of a sitting man so perfect it seemed to be alive.
But Trevor has no further memory of what happened, though the Cavendish brothers did not return with him. During Trevor's narration of the expedition, Hellboy notices that Trevor's house is infested with frogs. When Hellboy mentions the frogs, Trevor freaks out and backs away from the frogs, out onto his balcony, from where he is suddenly and unceremoniously tossed back into the room at Hellboy's feet; quite dead. His body seems to be covered in odd marks that were not there mere seconds ago.
Hellboy brings in his friends to help him investigate the death of Trevor; Elizabeth Sherman and Dr. Abraham Sapien. Liz has highly advanced pyrotechnic abilities, and Abe...well, Abe is a really cool fish-man. Beginning their investigation at the old Cavendish mansion, which is slowing sinking back into the lake it was built over, the three friends are quickly separated and all hell breaks loose; pun intended. The nameless Sorcerer who originally summoned Hellboy is back to claim what he believes is his, but by now we know that Hellboy can't be forced to do anything he doesn't want to do.
This first Hellboy book reveals Hellboy's origin, and shows us the loyalty between him and his friends, and the lengths they will go to for each other. This was actually a very difficult review for me to write because I liked it so much, it is hard to describe in a non-gushing way just how much I enjoyed this book. The storyline is very intense and fast-paced, even for a graphic novel; the illustrations are superb, the cells formed and drawn just right, so that the eye follows the flow of Mignola's inspired tale of this devilishly good guy without staggering or stopping to search for the correct sequence.
I have only recently become immersed in the world of graphic novels, and Hellboy is the absolute crème de la crème of the lot. A brand new type of hero; ultra powerful, intelligent, witty humor and saucy quips, demonic appearance, and as icing on the cake, from Hell itself.
As a bonus, there are some added chapters at the back of the book that illustrate the evolution of Hellboy as he was created and drawn to life, plus some enjoyable Hellboy artwork to examine and appreciate.
Hellboy is a perfect graphic novel, and I am greedily looking forward to pouring over the rest of the series. Not to mention I'm dying to go see the movie now. Enjoy!!