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MIGNOLA, MIKE & BYRNE, JOHN – HELLBOY #1 – SEED OF DESTRUCTION. 1993 Titan. 

 

The first Hellboy graphic novel book, and inspiration for the excellent film version, though that uses only some elements of the complex, detailed comic work. Hellboy is a demon that fights for the good guys. He was created by Rasputin, who survived all efforts to kill him in Tsarist Russia, and helped a group of Nazi Occultists try to raise a demon, which was the infant Hellboy.  The plan was to raise him on an obscure Scottish island captured temporarily by the Nazis.  However, English and American Occultists divert the dimension portal that Hellboy should come through, and they capture him for the allied cause. A mild mannered professor raises him until the present day. Now fully grown, and working for a Government agency, to fight demons, and monsters, Hellboy (his only name as far as he knows) has allies like a girl with the power to start fires at will, and Abe Simian, an amphibious detective who investigates anything underwater for Hellboy. When the professor is killed by frog demons, Hellboy seeks revenge. He discovers that he is a pawn in a game by Rasputin, who plans to make him evil again. Rasputin promises to tell Hellboy his real origins and background history in return. Hellboy decides he doesn’t care and destroys Rasputin, who vows revenge.  A fast moving, sometimes confusing story, with frog demons, and an old dark house right out of Edgar Allen Poe. If there is a law it is that no one seems surprised that Hellboy is a giant, bright red, with a vast stone fist on one arm, and sawn away demonic horns. The work is introduced by Robert Bloch (author of Psycho). There are also two additional short Hellboy tales. They are actually pilot stories, the first of their kind, by the authors designed to introduce and promote their hero. They apologise for the lack of plot, but actually the pieces are fun to read. In the first, Hellboy pets a dog that turns into an aliment Egyptian God and tries to kill him, until he uses a road sign arrow to impale it. In the second, a Nazi brain in a jar instructs a giant ape in how to drain brain fluid from a young damsel in distress until Hell boy bursts and rescues her. He throws the brain jar at the ape, which kills the evildoers off.  www.titanbooks.com

 

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