Mike Mignola & John Byrne - Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (4 stars)

Mike Mignola & John Byrne - Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

(Dark Horse)


Cinema-goers flummoxed by the lack of backstory in the new Hellboy film should take the chance to go back to the supernatural hero’s origins, with this timely re-release of a four-part comic first published in 1993. Without spoiling the plot, it involves a trans-dimensional encounter on a remote Scottish island towards the end of WWII. The story unfolds in flashback with Hellboy, already established as a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, curious about his own unique beginnings.

Those re-reading Seed of Destruction will see how Mike Mignola has developed as a storyteller since 1993. His chiaroscuro illustrative style has become even more stripped back than on these pages, while his narrative grasp (initially assisted by John Byrne) has become far grander. And the book’s dedication to Jack Kirby and HP Lovecraft tells us where all the style and substance came from.

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