Comic Books · Dark Horse · modern age

1993 Aug/1994 March

Hey guys. I’m thinking of adding stories from other publishers on the weekends, a break from golden age DC/Marvel to keep me from loosing my mind. I’ve decided to read some Hellboy first folks. This is the first appearance of this character/universe, the SDCC promotional release. I should mention that I have  seen the movies, but this will be my first foray into his comics.

We open with Hellboy (a large red humanoid figure with a strong looking tail, one hand much larger than the other and kinda mecha looking except it is the same color as the rest of him and flat sections on his head that are his  ground down horns) charging into a sort of operation being preformed by a gorilla, and being ordered by a rotting head in a jar with a swastika on it. The Gorilla is trying to put a needle into a woman’s neck and she is awake and struggling against her bonds.

The head orders the gorilla to attack Hellboy using ‘all his inhuman strength. The head recognizes Hellboy and says he has been an annoyance to the fuhrer. Also the gorilla’s hands are robotic. At least until Hellboy shoots one of  them to bits. Hellboy feels bad when the gorilla (named Brutus) cries in pain, as he has no mind of his own. But Hellboy still has to fight the beast, as he fights with renewed vigor after his hand was destroyed. Hellboy pulls a risky move that puts Brutus under, and the helpless head in a jar yells at the red figure for destroying his lab, though that was his plan.

The girl begs for help and Brutus speaks (much to Hellboy’s shock) saying the girl can still be used. Kinda freaked out by this, and figured he didn’t put in enough pressure to knock out the beat he tosses the head (Herman Von Klempt) into the gorilla’s mouth, and the force throws them into a generator. Hellboy takes the girl and jumps out a window, then watches as the castle burns.

Since that is so short I am also putting the first official issue of Hellboy here as well. Hellboy Seed of Destruction #1

We open on Christmas Eve of 1944, England. The narration is a journal by a soldier, who is skeptical about the fact (brought to them by the British Paranormal Society)  that the Nazi commandos they are to watch for are some kind of ‘spook squad’. Still the higher ups believe it, and not only id this elite squad up here on watch out so is this world’s version of Captain America: Torch of Liberty.

The Three members of the society are; Professor Malcolm Frost, Trevor Bruttenholm and Lady Cynthia Eden-Jones. Our narrator is in charge of the entire group, and though the area has been quiet for days Cynthia says something is going to go down that night. (She’s Psychic.)

North of the town the are in a large group of people chant in a circle of stones. As we get closer we see swastikas and iron crosses, and it is only one chanting. They are augmenting the magic with some sort of device, powering the gauntlets worn by the chanter.

Cynthia is trying to get a better grasp on the events taking place and she feels the power of some past event, something that is taking the power harness tonight for it’s own use. We cut between the psychic and the Nazi circle, where they are having trouble focusing their energies, and back. Troubled spirits tell Cynthia something is coming. One of the  gauntlets explode, as does the area where the soldiers waited. The sorcerer tells the rest of the Nazis that his work is done, he has given the Fuhrer a miracle.

We cut to the other explosion where a red monkey-like figure is wreathed in flames. One hand is much larger than the other (it looks like the gauntlet that blew up, and it’s the same side- is there a connection?) Though Professor Frost says they should kill him, Hellboy seems to be accepted among the soldiers and the other two from the society.

It is the future now, and Bruttenholm is listening to a tape, recalling that night almost fifty years ago. We see Hellboy, now a man. Bruttenholm stumbles to tell his son about an expedition he had been on, that lead to the world believing him dead. Bruttenholm and two other men had been deep in the arctic, looking for an old temple, and  finding it. The old man’s memories are blurred something awful, but he remembers a statue so detailed it was almost alive. After that, screams, and he didn’t even know how he got home, just that he called Hellboy, and Hellboy came. That’s ten months worth of memories, gone. (also Hellboy is really gentle, and it’s sweet)

Then a bunch of frogs start falling from the sky? Bruttenholm freaks out and tells Hellboy to run, and he flees, but he falls back into the room, now with purple skin with red circles all over. Hellboy gets pissed and charges the room, it is pitch black, and we can’t really see what he is fighting. He grabs it by it’s face and it winds a long tongue down his arm til he throws it off. Though it had only held on to him for ‘about two seconds’ his arm was now decorated with the same red circles, and he says ‘might as well be made of wood’.

When the beast comes back it once more lashes out with it’s tongue, but it gets the right hand this time, the large one. His hand has been analyzed for years to no avail, but what matters right now is that it doesn’t feel pain. Using the tongue Hellboy flings the thing into a wall. (Also the writing here is really good, or maybe I’m just too used to Golden age?) His other hand is coming back to life, and he lifts his gun; the thing tries to flee, but it’s not faster than a speeding bullet. It disintegrates before it hits the floor.

He goes into a different room and makes a call to the Head Office. He tells them about the monster and tells them to send scientists cause he has no clue what it is. He also tells them Bruttenholm is dead. I am very sad to hear this as they had a good dynamic, but I know we’ll probably see him in flashbacks. Finally we cut to an old woman with a teacup in her hand. Inside the teacup is a frog.