random comic review – “Hellboy”

Despite loving every story I’ve read, I never actually sat down and read any in-title Hellboy stuff. I’ve read a bunch of hellboy1BPRD stuff and some Hellboy one-shots, but I recently got Hellboy volume 1, “The Right Hand Of Doom”, and sat down for a read.

Let me tell you, it’s amazing.  I mean so much is crammed into it and despite being an earlier example of Mignola’s writing, is spot-on.  If you’re a casual HB fan and have seen the movies and maybe read a few stories here or there, “The Right Hand Of Doom” is in fact the basis for the first film’s story, though it’s far more in-depth and there are several differences that make it infinitely superior (and I say this as a fan of the film franchise).

The story’s pretty basic.  We get a little background on our otherworldly protagonist, a supernatural investigator and demon of hell raised by men to be good.  There’s a curse, a supernatural threat from the far reaches of Earth, evil Nazis and wizards, and frogs.  What more do you need?

And yet, this isn’t just a straight rock-em-sock-em romp.  I mean sure, there’s a lot here, but there’s also a story here with serious dialgogue and an attempt to tell  a modern horror story.  It’s as much Lovecraftian horror mystery as it is 4444a monster smash and bash, which is why it works so well.

A lot of titles have sprung up in the same sort of vein as Hellboy since Mignola’s character first debuted in 1993.  And a lot of them are really amazing too, I’m not knockin’ anyone by any means because I know that not only are those creators drawing on HB, but also of the same spirit of adventure and mystery that made Mignola create the big red dope.  But there’s a reason that the character has continued to maintain a comics and pop culture presence, because he’s really awesome.  And “The Right Hand Of Doom” is a fantastic example of that.

Anyway, yeah, whatever.  Even though I liked Hellboy a lot before reading this, now I’m even more sold on the franchise.

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About Costa

Writer. College professor.
This entry was posted in blogging, books, comic books, comics, dark horse, Hellboy, independant media, mike mignola, random, random comic review, reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to random comic review – “Hellboy”

  1. Liz says:

    Hellboy has really become a kind of comic tour de force (if I’m using that term correctly…) , transitioning seamlessly from paranormal mystery adventure to a modern-day epic poem with fantastic mythological references. It’s like a comic book Beowolf. I heard Mignola is gonna wrap the series up like inside the next ten years; the latest arc (the Wild Hunt) just finished, and you really get a sense of things starting to come to a head in that particular universe. I am writing to say please please please stick with the series, because it’s incredible rewarding. My favorite book has been the Conquerer Worm but it’s consistently great stuff. Check it out.

    PS- I thought the first movie was bad, but watchable; however, Hellboy II earned Guillermo del Toro a permanent spot on my shit list. I’m just sayin’.

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