Hellboy

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
So I got the first Hellboy trade because I wanted to read it before the movie comes out (as I'm sure many people will).

I definitely enjoyed it, the art especially is great. It was very "comic book-y" though, if you know what I mean. Lots of inner explanation parallel to the action ("If only I could reach my gun, then etc. etc.). Not a bad thing necessarily, but not what I usually go for. Are the rest of the books pretty similar?

Jordan (Jordan), Sunday, 21 March 2004 16:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Not as far as the scripting. Mignola didn't do it in the first arc (he did the story, fortunately), deferring to John Byrne, who is the only reason I don't like or own Seed of Destruction. Once Mignola starts handling his own scripts (no more interior monologue; captions only used to establish time and place, etc), it gets 100 times better. (Less/no heavy handed narration, and probably a lot funnier (I don't remember how much humor was in the first trade).

The art is a little less black-heavy in the first trade. Still, his art style is pretty much the same throughout.

O.Leee.B. (Leee), Monday, 22 March 2004 00:56 (fifteen years ago) link

That's exactly the sort of thing I wanted to hear, thx.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 22 March 2004 03:39 (fifteen years ago) link

That's so funny. I just got Seed of Destruction and Right Hand of Doom this past weekend, to read before I see the movie. I liked it. Hellboy isn't a pretty-boy super-hero, he's just stoic about doing his job. Not too much character development, though. Like, what's up with the right hand? What's with him needed to break off his horns? I'm sure it will all be revealed in due course...

Since my comic seller didn't have the 2nd and 3rd trades in, he told me I could get Right Hand of Doom, since it's stand-alone short stories. These stories were really good, too. I wish I had waited, though, because there was one story where Hellyboy reminisces about someone of his past cases and I was like, "What? Hey! I haven't read that yet! Well, I guess now I know how those stories end." The first, short story about Hellyboy's first experience with pancakes was very cute.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 22 March 2004 14:33 (fifteen years ago) link

"Pancakes" = the pinnacle of modern letters.

RHoD and Chained Coffin are both collections of one-offs, and neither are absolutely necessary to the ongoing mythology, though some details do get filled in (the Right Hand, HB's poss. origins, etc.). Nonetheless, stories like "Pancakes" and "The Corpse" make these trades indispensible.

VG, as for the horn breaking, you'll find a semi-answer in Wake the Devil which also happens to be my favorite HB story.

Here's how I rank 'em:
Wake the Devil
Right Hand of Doom
Chained Coffin
Conqueror Worm
Seed of Destruction

O.Leee.B. (Leee), Monday, 22 March 2004 22:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Could someone rank the order that the trades meant to (or, should) be readin? I'd like to polish them all off before the film. So far I have:

1. Seed of Destruction
2. Wake the Devil
3. The Chained Coffin and Others
4. Conqueror Worm?
5. ?

Short Stories:
Right Hand of Doom
?
?

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 15:04 (fifteen years ago) link

VG, with the short stories (Right Hand and Chained Coffin), it's not necessary to read those in proper sequence, both because what they collect is chronologically all over the map, and they usually don't advance the overall story by much. E.g. in Chained Coffin, there's one story that fits right after Seed of Destruction, and another story that follows up Wake the Devil. I think the best order is to read the first two arcs, then the shorts, then Conqueror Worm. So something like this:

1. Seed
2. Wake
3. Right Hand
4. Chained Coffin (interchangeable with Right Hand, actually)
5. Conqueror Worm

Conqueror Worm is the last collected arc, but there's been a two-issue mini since, entitled "The Third Wish." Also, HB spinoffs like BPRD and Weird Tales are also outside the mythology, only to be read if you really dig HB-proper.

And do check out Mignola's "The Amazing Screw-On Head." Nothing to do with HB, but funny as hell.

O.Leee.B. (Leee), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 19:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Thank you.

Also, I realise in a past post, I referred to HB as "Hellyboy." Total accident but I found it to be really funny when I spotted it this time around.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 19:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Here in California, we affectionately call him "Hellaboy"!

(not really)

O.Leee.B. (Leee), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 19:20 (fifteen years ago) link

So? What did people think about the movie. I thought some parts stayed very true to the comic, some pictures looked exactly like what was drawn in the comics, and there were some new/different parts. [Please don't read anymore if you haven't seen the movie yet. I don't want to spoil anything.]

The only thing that gave me pause was how "mystical" Abe was portrayed. Granted I haven't read all the trades, I just didn't imagine him being as... He kind of reminded me of a psychic robot. Did anyone else get that feeling.

Ron Perlman, fabulous, always. Hellboy (the character) was really funny and sweet and friendly and exactly how he is in the comic. I loved it. And I loved the fact that there was a "pamcakes" reference. Great.

The bad guy (with the knives) was a really good bad guy. Creepy and evil and really, really mean.

Favorite part: When Hellboy got his horns and crown. That part was just like, 'whooaaa, this guy could be totally bad if he wanted.'

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 6 April 2004 18:04 (fifteen years ago) link


Favorite part: When Hellboy got his horns and crown. That part was just like, 'whooaaa, this guy could be totally bad if he wanted.'

I thought that part sorta went by too quickly. I felt the ending was rushed a little bit and there should have been more done to show JUST HOW powerful and terrible Hellboy would/could have been if not for the influence of Broome.

That said, I still loved the movie, and it's the first movie in a long time that I'm considering seeing twice in the theatre. I really liked all the Indiana Jones-type stuff, like how HB kept getting knocked around, esp. under the subway.

Probably my favourite superhero movie since the 1989 Batman (and I like this one A LOT more than that).

The Huckle-Buck (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 6 April 2004 19:48 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked it too. Some stuff didn't work of course, but I would rather they rush the epic final act than cut out some of the quiet/funny parts. There seemed to be more of those than in the comic actually, which was cool.

My favorite moment might have been in the subway fight. Superheroes always have to save cute little animals and babies and whatnot, so they just said fuck it, let's HAND HIM A BOX OF KITTENS while fighting the big bad hellhound.

I think that the things I didn't like about it have their roots in the comic, so it was a pretty good adaptation in that sense.

(btw, does the nazi colonel villain guy do any of the knifey stuff in the books?)

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 02:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think so. At least, I haven't read any shredder action yet.

The ending was kind of rushed but maybe they didn't want to induce any super negative feelings about Hellboy? Maybe people wouldn't like him anymore if he looked like that big, red dude in the movie Legend. When I hear people talking about Hellboy on NPR, they're like, "A movie about the son of satan who fights crime." Is that right? Granted, I haven't read all the trades but he's not the son of satan is he? I just thought he was a demon of some kind. But then, why would he be entitled to a crown if he was just another of hell's minions?

Eh... too early for this. Must drink my coffee before thinking too hard.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 10:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Mike Mignola is a great artist, but any Hellboy I've read has been pretty boring.

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 14:04 (fifteen years ago) link

S: Gotham By Gaslight

The Huckle-Buck (Horace Mann), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm still a little conflicted on the HB comics. I like them enough to keep reading the trades (I've read the first two + Right Hand of Doom so far), and I love the character, but it just seems like Mignola never quite gets around to really digging into things before rushing along to the next big mystical crisis (which seems to be how things work in Hellboy's life, admittedly). I guess I could do with less big fight scenes and more, um, other stuff.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 14:26 (fifteen years ago) link

I've only read the Corpse promo thing, and I liked that.

The Huckle-Buck (Horace Mann), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I always loved Mignola's art but he's not a good writer.
Hellboy scores in terms of atmosphere and mood - which is down entirely to the art, perfect for this type of material - but, to me, always feels disappointingly flat as far as stories go. His dialogue is minimal and generally uninteresting, which means that his characters don't convince. Hellboy himself seems like a catchphrase-spouting cypher with much less real depth of character than the big icons of Marvel and DC (who, to be fair, have decades of development behind them, but then, Spiderman's character was apparent from one issue of Amazing Fantasy). Since his characters don't convince, I always find myself bored by the comics, because I simply don't care what happens. I look at the pretty pictures and enjoys them, and thats as far as it goes....

David Nolan (David N.), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 22:11 (fifteen years ago) link

I take issue with the assertion that his characters don't convince (although the Conqueror Worm definitely suffers from the problems you describe). I'll try to come up with a cogent argument later.

Leee O'Gaddy (Leee), Thursday, 8 April 2004 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

To address the more fannish parts of the thread (my steak and sizzle!):

Abe was underutilized especially in light of the level of his involvement in the comics. I agree that psychic-Abe was a strange twist that I didn't care for.

Agreed on the relatively weak ending, but considering the entire movie, I didn't mind. And the crown of fire gave me fanboy chills.

As for HB being Son of Satan... I won't say anything due to minor spoiler issues.

Jordan, I agree with you about how Mignola usually resolves his arcs e.g. HB invariably punches out the given bad guy -- which I actually appreciate, since it grounds itself fully in the mode of superhero comics (though distinct from spandex comics that feel the need to "elevate" its prose for the purpose of "literary" ends). HB blowing things up inspires pure action-oriented joy in me, that despite the foreboding ruminations on destiny and free will, the purpose of the series is visceral thrill i.e. FUN.

Leee O'Gaddy (Leee), Thursday, 8 April 2004 20:05 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
I have a sprained wrist but really want to talk about the Hellboy DVD:

1) Is this the first time a comic creator has contributed a commentary track to the movie based on his work, or did Jim O'Barr do one for The Crow? I was always disappointed Stan Lee didn't do one for Spider-Man.

2) What is the secret Hellboy-Gerald McBoing Boing connection? The DVD comes with like four GMcBB cartoons!

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 2 August 2004 15:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Stan Lee probably couldn't remember his previous lies and was afraid of contradicting himself again.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 2 August 2004 15:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Leee sez: Is this movie any good?

Spiderman 2 has overwhelmed my comics-movie brane and Hellboy has lost its appeal to me.

The Dreaded Rear Admiral (Leee), Tuesday, 3 August 2004 00:15 (fifteen years ago) link

My DVD turned up this morning (the film doesn't open here for another couple of months) and it is the best comics movie evah. I can't wait to see it on the big screen.

(The weather outside is lovely, but I am staying in watching a movie, then the documentary on Disc 2. I am Comic Geek Of The Year.)

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Saturday, 7 August 2004 12:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Where do you live?

Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 7 August 2004 16:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Bristol. (In England, not CT)

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Saturday, 7 August 2004 16:39 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
i just got "the chained coffin" cuz i saw it used for cheap (the other option was the john byrne one & i guess i'm glad i didn't go for that).

i like it! i think yeah it is a little light on the storytelling but the art is great & i really like the conceit of the stories being based on old folk tales and stuff.

(as far as the movie goes i loved the 1st half and then it went depressingly downhill)

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 13 April 2006 20:57 (thirteen years ago) link

(especially with that terrible "normal dude" character who joins the agency)

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 13 April 2006 20:57 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I read the Strange Places TPB, and "Third Wish" is sooo much better than I remember from the floppies! Did Mignola make radical revisions to "TW"? I don't remember being as affected by it before. Also: his mermaids are hott!~

"The Island" doesn't fare quite as well -- still too talky with an awkwardly abrupt deus ex machina resolution.

c(''c) (Leee), Tuesday, 9 May 2006 22:03 (thirteen years ago) link

five years pass...

Wait, so is that it? Is it just over now?

Dan I., Thursday, 25 August 2011 06:06 (eight years ago) link

seven years pass...

Trying to wrap my head around all the main titles being collected in 6 volumes. This is a great deal. Been hesitant a long time but I'm probably going to spring for this. Four volumes for the main story and two for the short stories. Not sure all covers are included.

Some people are saying the binding is very weak though.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:52 (eight months ago) link

Comixology had a sale on the digital editions just before Christmas so I sprung for volumes 3 and 4 (which should cover the things I don't have in floppies). Art is great but the writing seems a bit muddled for these later stories - he's picking bits from everywhere, Norse stuff, Russian stuff, Irish stuff, mashing it all together.

koogs, Saturday, 29 December 2018 11:53 (eight months ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.