Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom
A demon . . .
A demon skeptical of paranormal phenomena who happens to love pancakes = formula for success.
Mignola is one of the few writer/artists who really knows what he's doing. In "The Nature of the Beast" Mignola says just as much through the paneling as he does through dialogue. Contained in only a few pages we find a solid plot, dramatic irony, depth of character and a delicate splice of various mythologies.
And that's only one of the many stories in this book.
One of the things I really appreciate about Hellboy is that you can enjoy the material even if you're not familiar with the mythology contained therein. While I'm familiar with the lore of Lovecraft featured in "Goodbye Mr. Todd," I'm not familiar with Japanese floating heads in "Heads." But I enjoyed both stories equally.
Some of the stories move a little quick. However, most of the stories were written to be featured in collections, which means Mignola was likely offered a specific number of pages to accomplish his task, and you have to appreciate the stories in that context.
After getting several glimpses into the history of Hellboy, we finally get a fairly comprehensive, albeit rushed, life story in "The Right Hand of Doom."
This book, for me, really marks the transition from Hellboy as a series of shorts to a series of full-length TPB's. The Right Hand of Doom is the exposition of the Hellboy saga, and as such is not to be missed.