August 21, 2012 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Where Do I Start?

There have been several occasions in recent years when a customer heard me talking about Hellboy (which is a frequent occurence) and asked: Where Do I Start?  The Hellboy shelf is chock full of choices, and for those who might only know of the character through the two films, it can be a daunting challenge to pick where to begin.  The obvious choice would be to start with volume 1: Seed of Destruction After all, this volume does present Hellboy’s origin and kicks off the big themes that persist throughout the story.  I would suggest that even though this is where it all starts, newcomers might be better served to start elsewhere.  Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, while essential to understanding the big picture of Hellboy, doesn’t quite feel as cohesive as later volumes.

This is partially due to the fact that it was scripted by John Byrne.  Byrne has rightly earned a place of respect for his huge body of work as both an artist and a writer, but Hellboy is Mike Mignola’s baby, and was much better served when he started writing it full time.  As Mignola’s confidence as a writer grew, so did the overall quality of the book.  While you’ll never hear me complain about the artwork, it’s also evident in later volumes that the quality consistently improved once Mignola got more comfortable with the character.


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