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  1. #106
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    I'm gonna say that yes, you can mostly jump in to what's being published these days.

    I wouldn't start with The Devil You Know, though. That's the one where you really do want to have read what's come before, even though it is a lot. This being the final cycle of BPRD means we're at a point where starting now would diminish any big moments that came before. If nothing else, I'd watch for Dark Horse digital sales. It's a cheaper way to get caught up on one million back issues of BPRD.

    Most of Hellboy can be read on it's own, up until Darkness Calls/The Wild Hunt/Storm and Fury. Those omnibus would be a great way to read his main story, if you want to wait for those, though.

    Hellboy and the BPRD is very new reader friendly. There's not a lot to get caught up on, either, if you wanted to do that. Though, the series is hit and miss so far. 1952 is the best so far. The stand alone issues are also good, but the multi issue arcs fall short for me after '52.

    Rasputin and Koshchei can probably be read on their own, but they'll be better with previous knowledge of those characters and their relationship to the larger mythos.

    They'll be released in their own Short Story Omnibus, but any and all Hellboy short stories are great and can be read any time. While they're intended as stand alone GNs, Into The Silent Sea, and especially Midnight Circus tie in to other stories, but it doesn't diminish them on their own.

    That's my take. Others might have different opinions.

  2. #107
    Fantastic Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Hello all, I just finished the Hellboy Omnibus vol.1 and what a disapointment.
    I had never read any Hellboy before but had hight hopes having seen the movies and read a lot of the threads here.

    First the art. Yes Mike Mignolia is a good artist because is can pull out good drawings. But like too many american comics, lots of panels have a plain background.
    Also, you like it or not, but Mignolia's way of drawing is very particular. I find it very geometric and angular. His art is not smooth.

    Then the stories are not as great as I had hoped. I never go the chills like I had with Swamp Thing for exemple.
    Especially his frist one Seeds of Destruction that disapointed me much.
    Then there are lots of incoherent stuff or unexplained things. I won't name them, there are too many in my taste. This is not the result of well worked stories.
    Sure Mignolia and Byrne certainly do lots of researched about legends, myths and creatures, but that don't mean their stories are well constructed.

    But to be a bit positive, throu-out the book the stories got better and better. But not as good as people seem to say. Maybe the second omnibus will proove me wrong.
    Also his art stays constant. There are no parts that seem rushed.

    I will wait to read omnibus 2 to make a final judgement on Hellboy. So far I'm disapointed.

  3. #108
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    I hope that your readthrough of the second omnibus will be a more positive one. I have often tried to explain to new readers that there's a pretty big jump in both artwork and storytelling between Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil, and it only gets better from there. But you might find yourself more satisfied with the short story omnibi to start with. Some of Mignola's best work is in the self-contained short stories, especially until he builds up to the Conqueror Worm/Strange Places double punch.

    That said, a couple thoughts on your comments:

    1. It cannot be said enough--the comics are NOT the movies. In any way. Everything from the characterizations to the plot to the visual design to the sense of humor is completely distinct for either medium. If you come to the comics looking for a clear parallel, you will be disappointed. For a lot of us fans, the comics came first, so our relationship to the movies is, at best, a sense of respect for the movies as their own thing. But as adaptations of the comics, they are dreadful. To enjoy these stories the most, you need to separate your expectations from those movies.

    2. As you continue to read, the "plain backgrounds" you speak of take on a new dimension (no pun intended). You're right to say Mignola's art is very particular. He loves to fill backgrounds, but as he matures as an artist, you see it affect mood rather than just sit there. By the time you get to Strange Places, and even more so Hellboy in Hell, the fill colors are a vital part of the artwork in every way.

    3. I can kind of, to a point, understand being disappointed with Seed of Destruction as a first-time reader. It suffers from a number of issues that later stuff doesn't, most particularly the off-putting narration that never appears again, and the less refined art. As you comment, Wake the Devil seems a lot better by comparison. I think that you will find, as a storyteller, Mignola only improves as the series goes on.

    4. Finally--it may just be that Hellboy isn't for you. For a lot of people, it's not their thing. It's too artsy, or takes too much work to understand the broader plot, or any other reason someone might not like a comic. Personally, I love it to pieces. But even if you aren't thrilled with Hellboy, there's a whole universe of comics in that series that you'll have read us talking about in this forum. BPRD, Abe Sapien, Witchfinder, Lobster Johnson, Sledgehammer 44, The Visitor, Rise of the Black Flame, Frankenstein Underground, Rasputin, Koschei the Deathless...there's a LOT to read, and while some of the series (Abe) don't stand very well on their own, there's plenty of comics here that are simply fun, regardless of your investment in the broader franchise. Maybe give some of those a shot.

    Anyway, I hope that you come around to Hellboy as you read further. Thanks for providing a critique and reserving final judgment until you've taken in a few more stories; I'll be interested to hear your take on things once you get through them.

  4. #109
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    The only unfortunate thing about Hellboy, which often not true of comic series, is that the first two arcs are, in my opinion, easily the worst.

    I still like them, but I've never felt they represented the series as a whole very well.

  5. #110
    Fantastic Member topfueluhl's Avatar
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    If you prefer other artists then the next omnibus coming out is the complete short stories vol 1 and includes work by: Richard Corben, Duncan Fegredo, Mick McMahon, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon.
    Last edited by topfueluhl; 06-11-2018 at 03:27 PM.

  6. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    The only unfortunate thing about Hellboy, which often not true of comic series, is that the first two arcs are, in my opinion, easily the worst.

    I still like them, but I've never felt they represented the series as a whole very well.
    Honestly, if I had started with Seed of Destruction, I probably wouldn't have continued reading. The series grows so much in those early stories.

  7. #112
    The Claw of Justice!
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    When I loan Hellboy books to people, I give them The Chained Coffin and Other Stories first.

    I like all of it, but Hellboy improves throughout the entire run. The last 10 issues is probably the best part of the series. How many works of fiction not only stay good, but improve over a 20+ year run?!
    "...puppets are scary, and puppets do things when people are sleeping, and they run around and get their own ideas about things." - Mike Mignola

    "…if you’ve been damaged, if you’ve been made lesser, if you’ve been reduced, and you’re still trying to do the right thing… that’s a #$%@ing hero." -John Arcudi

  8. #113
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by middenway View Post
    Honestly, if I had started with Seed of Destruction, I probably wouldn't have continued reading. The series grows so much in those early stories.
    I liked Seed of Destruction, but not only am I weird guy who likes the WWII elements, but I also read it in single issues when it was originally released (so I also got the Monkeyman and O'Brien back-up stories in those issues).
    Would also love to see more of John Byrne's The Torch of Liberty in WWII-era Mignolaverse stories, but don't know how likely that would be.

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