Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Here were go on Day 3 of my report on borrowing books from Comixology Unlimited. Today I talk about three books I recently read, all of them starring Hellboy.

Why I chose it: Hellboy is pretty well known, one of the few non-superhero comic book properties to be made into not just one, but two feature films. I wrote an encyclopedia entry on him, but I have not really kept up on his adventures in at least a decade. So I thought I would revisit these stories and see how they held up.

From Book 1

Book 2
Book 3
The Bottom Line: These comics hold up very well, and I daresay they are modern classics. They are exceptional tales of monsters, magic, and adventure that incorporate many novelistic, historical, fairy tale, and classic movie elements in creating a fully realized and detailed world. The set-up that there is a secret government agency staffed by paranormal creatures to deal with large-scale threats is a simple and fascinating one. The artwork is beautiful, moody, dark, and gleeful in its depictions of strange creatures and magic. The first two volumes form more of a connected storyline involving Nazis, the Russian mystic Rasputin, and a prolonged plot to destroy the world. The third one is more a collection of stories, and that one is probably my favorite of the three, only because they are dense, wonderful, and full of horrific fancy. The first two books are very compelling and suspenseful, but the third one really fleshes out the characters and situates them firmly in their universe. All of these books are well worth reading, and I may just have to keep going and catch up on some excellent comics I have missed featuring these characters.

Don't just take my word for it: Keith Dooley called Seed of Destruction "an introduction of a distinct character and unique world that is overflowing with endless possibility." Conor Kilpatrick wrote about the first two books, "These are big, fun, crazy adventures that are laugh out loud funny, goose bump-inducing scary, and most importantly – they are smart." Nick Brownlow remarked that "THE CHAINED COFFIN AND OTHERS is the perfect introduction to HELLBOY, so if you're not already reading the adventures of Mignola's hell-spawned hero, now would be an excellent time to start."

All of these books were published by Dark Horse Comics, who still publish his adventures. They have previews available for these three volumes if you click the links: Seed of Destruction, Wake the Devil, The Chained Coffin and Others.

So far, I am thrilled with using Comixology Unlimited. Will this streak continue? Tune in tomorrow and see!

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