by: David Pinckney
In the spirit of Dark Horse month I felt that we should talk about one of their most well known titles, Hellboy. Many comic book readers have read Mike Mignola's award winning comic, but for those of you who haven't read it, here is why you should be reading it.
Hellboy follows Hellboy on his adventures (alone or with the BPRD) as he investigates and fights the paranormal. He helps protect the common person and the well being of all others the best he can. Through his adventures though we learn a lot about the history of the world and the history of all the supernatural entities within the comic.
Hellboy has a very unique feel to it. The use of mythology mixed with the supernatural creates such a great undertone for all the stories that take place you never really feel like you have the same story twice. That said, there are several stories that do connect creating a definite universe feel. Characters come and go throughout the series, but it's in such a way that seeing a character from several issues ago come back gives the reader a sense that seems almost nostalgic. This is something very hard to achieve. Mignola has a very good handle on characters and character story-lines. He knows what makes a good character and when a character is needed and appropriate to the given story.
As we know fifty percent of a comic is the art, and to say that the art is fitting would be an injustice to the work. The art style used in Hellboy is hands down the best style for it. It gives the comic the mystical and gritty feel that makes Hellboy so unique. That said many of you know that Mignola doesn't draw every issue. He has found artist that can emulate his style so closely that it is incredibly hard to tell that it's not Mignola doing the art. This preservation of style helps keep Hellboy consistently good.
Many people who haven't read the comics only know of Hellboy, but what they don't know is there is a whole universe that one can learn about. One of the most prominent entity in the Hellboy universe is the BPRD. The BPRD is a very large part of Hellboy that has its own comic that people can emurse themselves into. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), it is an organization who protects the world from the paranormal as well as researches the paranormal. The BPRD itself has a lot for the reader to look into. With all the weird, and frankly cool, creatures that have been seen throughout the duration of the book, makes for a very fun and interesting read. Even past the BPRD we have memorable characters that will resonate through the pages of the comic that readers can learn about.
Hellboy has more then just comics to deliver its story. There have been two major motion pictures (with a third on the way) and a few animated Hellboy movies as well. They even have a Hellboy table top game in the same vain of Dungeons and Dragons as well as Hellboy Heroclix (a Warhammer styled game). There is so much Hellboy media out there that it is very easy to find a way into the world of Hellboy.
The comic is fast paced and action packed. It has such a sophisticated lore to it that even those who claim to not like comics will find themselves waiting for the next issue or trade to come out. If you haven't picked up this comic, then you really should add it to your collection. Overall, Hellboy is undoubtedly a classic and will not soon be forgotten.
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