Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1: Seed of Destruction

So over the years, I have read numerous off-shoot and stand-alone issues of Hellboy, but had not read the primary arcs, which was why I was excited when I heard they were publishing an omnibus series containing the complete saga. This first volume contains five stories, as well as some artist sketches and a little bit of history about the development of the characters and story. The stories are brimming with material that interests me: paranormal investigation, the occult, conspiracy theories, mythology, social criticism, and so forth. And the great storytelling is augmented with artwork that fits well with the overall theme. Also, what is so cool about this book is that Mike Mignola is both writer and artist, an impressive accomplishment.

While all the stories in this volume are great, I want to focus on the last one, “Almost Colossus,” which explores concepts of God, science, the relationship between creator and creation. It’s kind of like a reworking of the Frankenstein story.

Anyway, couple quotes that are worth sharing.

“Brother, you think these humans are our betters. Not so, believe me. We two are the triumph of science over nature. Mankind to us should be like cattle, ours to use for whatever purpose we decide. We are not monsters, but the future and the light of the world!”

(p. 304)

Here we have a classic expression of hubris. The created, or creature, begins to feel superior to the creator, and employs scientific logic to back up the claim. I see this as symbolic of the human impetus to feel godlike through the acquisition of knowledge and power. And not just equal to God, but greater than God.

“Today the light of the world will be born again, and from this day forward mankind will bow and scrape before the God of Science.”

(p. 318)

This is a definite reference to the Prometheus myth, as well as the myth of Lucifer as the light bearer. Science has replaced God for many people in this age. And although I consider myself a spiritual person, and have faith in a divine consciousness, I confess that I find myself irritated at people who disregard scientific evidence because it conflicts with their established religious beliefs. As much as I hate to admit it, I too often bow before the God of Science.

While this book has challenging ideas woven in, it is still a fun and entertaining read. If you are a fan of the graphic novel genre and have not read Hellboy, I highly recommend checking it out.

Thanks for stopping by, and have an incredible day.


Filed under Literature

10 responses to “Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1: Seed of Destruction

  1. I was never a big comic graphics guy per se but I always liked the fact that how talented these artists were at there craft drawing comics.
    I could barely draw a decent stickman ff were, ​to be honest here Jeff!

    • LOL – I too can’t draw or paint, but I like to color. But I write well and can create music, so two out of three ain’t bad. I was telling an artist friend of mine that I was saddened by the fact I could not paint or draw. He said, “But you play music! Artists only capture energy, but musicians create it.” That made me feel better about my lack of ability in the visual arts.

  2. Hi Jeff – thanks for sharing your review of Hellboy here. While I don’t read this genre, I always like seeing what messages you pull out of the comics/graphic novels that you read. They are often great commentaries on human nature.

    By the way, I told your Rolling Stones story to my hair stylist this week, who recently saw Aerosmith in Las Vegas!