Mike Mignola’s 9 best stellar Hellboy acts


Next to Spawn and The walking dead, that of Mike Mignola Hellboy is one of the best-known creator-owned comics success stories of the past thirty years. Over three decades, Mignola has accomplished the incredible feat of taking a character’s sketch from a random doodle at a comic book convention and turning it into a bona fide franchise with a no-list. steadily growing of current titles, paperbacks, omnibuses, short stories, one of the best non-DC or Marvel comic book movie adaptations and merchandise to its name.

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Mignola’s success is in large part due to his abilities as a master storyteller with an impeccable sense of timing and structure, and his very unique artistic vision makes Hellboy the comic stands out among its many competitors and imitators. The lesson Hellboy The series has seen Mignola produce some of the best uplifting horror comic book numbers to date, the best of which deserve careful consideration and all the praise that can be given them.

7 Problem # 1: Seed of Destruction Part 1

The frog monster crashes through a window to confront Hellboy.

Mike Mignola’s flagship creation burst onto the comic book scene with Seed of destruction in 1994 and was immediately hailed as a modern touchstone in horror comics – and reading issue # 1, it’s easy to see why. The use of striking primary colors over dull, earthy tones and a black background creates an impeccable juxtaposition that pulls the first four issues of the series off the page in a visceral way, grabbing the reader’s attention.

At this early stage, the comic was very different from the style and form Mignola would adopt decades later to write the character, with long sections of letter-writing prose in the form of journal entries and illustrations that seem slightly more detailed and complex than some of the later issues. More importantly, the story of number 1 introduced an epic, otherworldly origin for the main character while also establishing Hellboy’s mischievous charm.

6 Numbers # 12 & 13: Almost Colossus

Roger the homunculus speaks in the Hellboy comics

The third arch of the Hellboy series, Almost Colossus is responsible for the humanization (figuratively, not literally) and reintroduction of Hellboy’s greatest hero fans have never heard of, Roger the homunculus, who until this issue had been touted only as a rampaging monster who killed those around him. The two-issue story sees Roger exploring the origins of his creation and creator, meeting his power-crazed brother along the way and teaming up with Hellboy and Abe Sapien to destroy a huge rampaging colossus inhabited by the spirit of his. brother, who believes himself to be God.

In the process, Roger must deal with the aftermath of his animation at the hands of Agent (and Hellboy’s friend) Liz Sherman, who was killed in the encounter after unwittingly stealing his pyrokinetic abilities. A beautiful story of monstrous beings striving to overcome the circumstances of their creation and to make their existence well, Almost Colossus stands as one of the most sincere and philosophical arcs in the series.

5 Numbers 15 & 16: Box full of evil

The Hellboy Box Full Of Evil cover featuring Hellboy and two other characters

Another two-numbered arc in the vein of Almost Colossus, Box full of evil is a wickedly delicious, bite-sized getaway starring an all too rare Hellboy / Abe Sapien team, as they investigate the theft of a strange set of items – a pair of pliers and a mysterious box – in a house whose owner had no prior knowledge of their existence.

Mignola plays the absurd elements of horror fiction for comedic ends and hilarious effect throughout both issues, which feature Hellboy leaping out of a window at one point to catch a demon in the form of a fly, and the two unforgettable lines of dialogue exchanged between Abe and Hellboy – “Is that a monkey?” “,” HE HAS A GUN! – followed by a sign of a rabid chimpanzee brandishing and discharging a revolver. One of the great ‘buddies’ moments of the Hellboy saga, these two issues make up one of the most enjoyable episodes of the series that readers return to time and time again.

4 In the silent sea

Hellboy Into The Silent Sea cover featuring Hellboy, a snake, and a female character holding a lantern

While not strictly speaking a numbered issue of Hellboy’s central title, In the silent sea is nevertheless collected in several of the paperbacks and omnibus editions as part of or an addendum to The island story arc, which makes it an integral part of the canon. Mignola tells an enchanting high seas fable filled with gnarled nautical monsters, ghost ships, and several epigraphs and quotes from seafaring poems and songs, including The time of the old sailor by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who both closes and opens the case.

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The story stands out for its jaw-dropping illustrations courtesy of Gary Gianni, whose meticulous, almost lithographic style is perfectly suited to the rendering of kelp-covered decaying men of war, swirling black seas beneath stormy gray skies and all kinds of eras. -a precise maritime paraphernalia – given a certain gravity by the quasi-pastiche style of Gianni’s art.

3 Number 37: The Wild Hunt, Part 1

Hellboy The Wild Hunt Part 1 cover featuring Hellboy on a horse

Marking the beginning of the end for Hellboy, this terrifying opening chapter of The wild hunt based on real folklore, takes up some of the pure pleasure of the previous numbers not mingled with patterns of cosmic magnitude. The issue, in fact, contains very little introduction to the central conflicts that will unfold for the remainder of the story arc; instead, it sets up what is apparently a short stand-alone tale of an underground order of English nobles who periodically meet to hunt giants.

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What makes this issue so awesome and original are the haunting images it conjures up. From crusading English knights on horseback wearing deer heads as cowls to the crumbling stone walls of 13th-century churches and hallways lit by dilapidated castle candelabras lined with giant taxidermized heads, artist Duncan Fegredo impeccably illustrates the world Hellboy fantasy of Lovecraftian monsters and medieval decadence.

2 Number 43: The Wild Hunt, Part 7

Hellboy The Wild Hunt Part 7 cover featuring Hellboy with his horns

In the penultimate issue of The wild hunt story, Chapter Seven continues and elevates the comic book’s longstanding themes of self-determination and the main character’s rejection of fate. Hellboy # 43 sees Hellboy grappling with the overwhelming responsibility of assuming the throne of England and leading a vast army into battle. Fearing that assuming the role of conquering hero would solidify his fate of becoming the prophesied apocalyptic destroyer Anung Un-Rama, the issue comes as a brilliant evocation of Hellboy’s inner struggle to resist his bloodthirsty nature and ward off a growing fear that ‘he really is the monster that people proclaim him to be.

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Mignola uses poignant symbolism and visual parallelism throughout the text and brings this dichotomous inner conflict to a crescendo with a climactic battle between Hellboy and an imaginary, hellish version of himself as King of the Underworld, accidentally resulting in death. tragic (for a time) of his beloved friend Alice, highlighting the heavy toll that Hellboy’s doubt can take on his closest allies.

1 Number 55: The fury, part 3

Hellboy The Fury Cover Part 3

Although this latest issue of Storm and Fury story arc offers a colossal and visually dazzling Hellboy / dragon fight scene and several moments of large-scale mythological excess, its most distinguished triumphs reside in its understated and exquisite opening and closing pages. The opening page depicts a cataclysmic thunderstorm devouring London, and a family sticking together in an embrace on the floor of their bedroom, supposedly safe from destruction. The family are then burned alive as their home is struck by lightning, Fegredo rendering the moment in gruesome and beautiful detail with the hugging skeletons stripped of all flesh and consumed by a blue flame, against a background of text: “This is as it should be … I was in the beginning and forever will be … time, the destroyer. “

This reflection on the nature of mortality and the transience of existence is then brought to a powerful conclusion on the last page of the issue, which simply shows an old man wandering the smoldering ruins of devastated London. In the last two panels, this man comes across a trio of blooming lilies growing at the base of a collapsed column, which perfectly realizes Mignola’s contemplation of the cycle of death and rebirth as it began on the opening page.

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