Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others

When i finished Seeds of Destruction, I knew Hellboy was a good (even very good) comic, and that i definitely wanted to read more. When i finished The Chained Coffin and Others, my opinion changed. I no longer consider HB very good... but great. As much as i appreciated Seeds of Destruction, i loved this next volume (really a compilation of shorts rather than a longer story like its predecessor) that much more. Every short story in this compilation was really good IMO. Mignola even did away with the one small beef i had with the art in Seeds - HB's scrawny demon legs are gone (now replaced by nicely proportionate demon legs).

I'm going to give you some of my thoughts on my 4 favorite shorts in this compilation (including my all time favorite HB tale so far): The Corpse, The Chained Coffin, The Wolves of Saint August, and Almost Colossus.


In order to rescue a kidnapped baby, HB must do a service for the child's fairy kidnappers by providing a corpse they are dragging with a "proper" Christian burial in one of 3 nearby churches. The first two houses of God are full-up with spirits ("NO ROOOOOM!"), and in order to make way to the third, HB must first confront and defeat a demon raised from the murk by one of the fairies he trounced in the beginning of the story (for impersonating the missing child and tormenting the poor mother). There are some genuinely funny moments in this short, and i'm really starting to appreciate Mignola's sense of humor (and the way he writes it into HB). The conversations HB has with corpses ("do i need it? it's my arm!") are quickly becoming classic comedic, HB moments for me (remember the quadriplegic Ivon in Seeds?).


The Chained Coffin short is told by HB to Abe (Sapien) in the form of a written letter (cool touch IMO). In the letter, HB tells abe that he has been having these weird nightmares that seem to have something to do with his "birth" (coming?) to earth. The nightmares are about a dying woman, who is praying for forgiveness from God on her death bed, and asking her children to protect her body after she is gone from a devil that will surely come to claim her. Her two children wrap chains around her coffin and do their best to make a stand when the demon does come, but to no avail. The demon reclaims the woman and in the process releases some very cool HB background which i don't want to give away here. I'm not even 100% sure WHAT the revelation is exactly (see my CBR post but beware of spoilage if you click through).


A wandering monk stumbles across the town of St. August and hears some beautiful bells tolling from the town's bell tower. He decided to stop in on the local royalty and give compliments, and discovers them praying in front of an alter to the anti-christ. in a fit of rage, the monk curses the entire family into werewolves (every 7 years). The people of St. August eventually find out that their royal family are now werewolves, trap them in their castle, torture, and brutally murder them. All save one. A son, William, escapes and exacts his revenge on the town by killing every inhabitant - to the last man. There is an awesome battle between HB and Willy the werewolf at the end of this short - one of my favorite of HB's cans 'o whup ass so far. And guess what? Deena (from Powers) is in this one!! j/k it's professor Corrigan dropping mythology knowledge on HB instead - but man they look so much alike :)


This is probably my favorite HB story so far. Not exactly sure why to be honest, it's just good IMO. After meeting the "humonculous" in Seeds (that weird frankenstien style monster that Liz awakens by pouring her energy into it), we finally get to find out some background on this beast and it turns out he's not such a bad guy. It's his brother that's the problem. Unbeknownst to us, the mad scientist that created the humonculous created a previous version back in undergrad before his skills in creating monsters from scratch were up to par. The 1.0 model was a bust, and unceremoniously disposed of before 2.0 (humonculous) was created. But 1.0 didn't die in exile down a sealed well as Dr. F had planned. He escaped and went in search of 2.0 (his younger brother) in hopes of convincing him to join together into one huge giant humongous body and become all powerful. Turns out 2.0 isn't really a bad guy though - and he's not interested in joining with his bitter older brother and/or rampaging across the countryside in a giant, two souled body. HB takes a brutal ass whipping in this one (cool) and there's a great ending. A++!

Man i'm starting to love me some HB - can't wait to pick up volume 4.


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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