Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hellboy Vol.2: Wake the Devil (I'm officially on the HB BW now...)

To be honest, after such a long layoff i had never even HEARD of hellboy until the movie came out (all comic regulars begin throwing rotten veggies now). I never did actually see the movie (until last night - seriously!), but the chatter about this title, it's writer Mike Mignola, and the uber coolness it supposedly exudes since i've been back got me hype to read at least one of the trades and see what i thought. So i picked up Vol. 2: Wake the Devil a few weeks ago and just got around to reading it the second time last night (i definitely needed that second read, but more on that later).

First question you may ask is why did i start w/ Vol. 2 instead of Vol. 1? A trustable comics source of mine told me that Mignola didn't write the first one, and so the series really didn't get going well until Vol. 2 when Mike took over full responsbility... Good enough for me, starting w/ #2 it is.

One thing i learned right off the bat is this is not your typical low-brow comic book (not that comic books are typically low brow mind you but you'll get where i'm going with this soon). Mike has a real "thinking man's" way of authoring hellboy, and there are a lot of obscure (and some not so obscure) historical and mythological references sprinkled like... well... sprinkles throughout. I certainly don't mind it, i love me some history and the tie in's really make it interesting for me personally. All said and done though - you really need to READ this title - skimming and/or speed flipping will not do. I was totally confused (well not totally i'm only half a homer usually) the first time through, but i read it the second time much slower and was able to really comprehend what a cool story it was. Let me say that i REALLY enjoyed it the second time, after kind of not knowing what the hell i thought the first time through.

I do have one gripe though about the art - Hellboy is one hell (no pun intended) of a cool character, and i can't wait to read Vol. 3, but why does mike have to draw his legs so damn spindly? i mean the dude is a pure beast from the waste up but in some frames he has these teeny-tiny legs. i'm lame i know. i have heard (over at CBR and elsewhere) that the art matures a good deal as the series rolls on so maybe my one complaint will evaporate a few volumes from now :)

PS anyone else think that Prof. Kate Carrigan is secretly Deena from Powers (a character i love)? HA!!! Not in the way she's written per se - but damn they look like clones in the first few pages of this trade, even down to the way the different artists draw/color them :)

FINAL VERDICT: I'll be picking up Vol. 3 shortly. I'm still undecided if i need to go back and read Vol. 1: Seeds of Desctuction (i think that's what its called). Anyone got any advice on that for me?


29 June, 2005 10:16, Blogger zilla said...

PPS - just in case you're wondering since i didn't say much about it in my post, but the movie version of hellboy didn't do it for me really - can't really put my finger on why just didn't think it was all that great...

29 June, 2005 15:20, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

You probably don't need to read Seeds Of Destruction, as hellboy really kinda stays self-contained. There's a continuity, but you can really pick up anythingand read it without too much backstory - it's one of the best things about the comic.

That said, you should read all the Hellboy you can get your hands on. It's all top-notch stuff, in my book.


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel