Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 21 July 2013

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

Author: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

If Alan Moore had written Ghostbusters, we may have had something like Hellboy. The dark, gothic tale of a lovable demon who joins a misfit team of mutants and supernatural beings in the BPRD (Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defence) is extremely graphic and highly entertaining. Mike Mignola doesn’t shy away from adult themes bringing the twisted world of Hellboy to life with Lovecraft inspired horrors that rise right off a black canvas.

Summoned by a mysterious wizard who is bent on destroying the world, Hellboy comes to Earth as a child after a series of occult events in the final days of World War 2. Professor Bruttenholm, along with a team sent to stop this Nazi plot, finds and takes Hellboy into his care. Thus, central to Hellboy is the exploration whether good and evil are inherent. Though born only for one purpose; to destroy the world, Hellboy goes against his nature and becomes a soldier for good, following the example of his adopted father rather than fulfilling the wishes of he who spawned him.

Throughout Hellboy, the battle of good versus evil manifests itself outwardly between the BPRD and the various villains supernatural and otherwise they encounter. However beneath the surface, Hellboy struggles against his own inner demon.

The first volume in the series, "Seed of Destruction" focuses on the origins of Hellboy and the loss of his adopted father at the hands of a frog-like beast. As he deals with the loss, things become even more complicated. The sinister Rasputin, a man living on through the centuries despite being executed centuries ago in Russia, plans on using Hellboy's friend and colleague Elizabeth Sherman to turn Hellboy toward his evil destiny.

Hellboy is an immense saga, which puts to bed any notion that comic books are for children. An original take on themes and concepts which, though familiar, are cooked here with unique flavours. Very well researched and expertly delivered, Hellboy has rightly became an instant classic within the genre and a notable piece of literary fiction in general. I'm looking forward to volume 2.