Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seed of Destruction (Hellboy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Seed of Destruction (Hellboy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seed of Destruction

(Hellboy #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  70,442 ratings  ·  1,116 reviews
Dark Horse presents new editions of the entire Hellboy line with new covers, beginning with Seed of Destruction, the basis of director Guillermo del Toro's blockbuster films. Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists' artist and a great storyteller whose work is in turns haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding. Mike Mignola has ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Dark Horse (first published June 1st 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seed of Destruction, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joshua R Hi Kat,

I just finished reading the first Hellboy Omnibus. I wouldn't say it's inappropriate. Overall it's been fairly mild. There is violence and some…more
Hi Kat,

I just finished reading the first Hellboy Omnibus. I wouldn't say it's inappropriate. Overall it's been fairly mild. There is violence and some blood but it's not particularly graphic and is fairly mild, and no nudity or anything so far as I can remember.

It is about a demon man hunting ghosts, ghouls, and all manner of mythical creatures though. Whether it's appropriate would depend on if you're asking because you noticed someone in your class reading it, or you're selecting it as class reading material. I may be nervous that a very religious household could be upset by the content- the types of parents that take Pokemon cards away because it's the witchcraft.

My recommendation is that you check out a copy at the library, or find a cheap copy online and skim it and make your own decision.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  70,442 ratings  ·  1,116 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Seed of Destruction (Hellboy, #1)
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this series. I have for years.

That said, I haven't been a faithful follower of the books. I don't read comics in single issues. I read comics once they're collected in trade paperback, and even then, my purchases are erratic.

But earlier this year I went on a Hellboy binge. I bought everything that I didn't already own, and read it all in just a week or two. Both the main storyline, all the side arcs, and the BPRD series too. About 30 books in all.

How do I feel about it after glutting m
Outstanding concept but lacked deeper characterization

This trade paperback edition collects the comic book issues “Hellboy” #1 to #4, which it’s the beginning of the series. Also including the two previous illustrated short stories published as promos for Hellboy, the main character.

Creative Team:

Creator, illustrator and story: Mike Mignola

Script: John Byrne


If I have a real name, I’ve never known it. I’m called Hellboy.

Hellboy is one of the strongest comic book titles in th
J.G. Keely
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, comics, reviewed
After the movies, I didn't expect much from the comic. They were fun, but a bit cheesy. The film's director, Guillermo Del Toro tends to make films that are all flash and no substance, like Blade II and Pan's Labyrinth. I assumed that the Hellboy movies were just executed better, but I now realize that the movies fell far short of the source material.

The comics are moody, charming, and uniquely stylized. The dramatic inking and chiaroscuro lighting combines with the simple, evocative lines to cr
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
It's been a number of years since I first read Seed of Destruction, the first Hellboy book, and, having read all of them at this point, I decided to go back and re-read the first book because my memories of it were hazy. Well, as I suspected, it's not a great first volume - but Hellboy is an incredible series, so don't be put off by this shaky start. The later books get better and better and better. But this first one...

I had completely forgotten that Mike Mignola didn't write the first Hellboy
Dirk Grobbelaar

Ah. This was quite good. The art suited the pulpy vibe of the story perfectly.
And it is a good story too, underscored by Lovecraftian influences.

There really isn’t much more I can say, other than this: it’s much better than the film.

Even to readers who don’t particularly enjoy the graphic medium.

Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
My very first Hellboy comic.
I have seen the two movies and have to say that they were pretty good. Funny, with great make-up and costumes, very good CGI, and the atmosphere they created was fantastic. Thus, I wanted to know if the comics could invoke the same feeling.

Many story elements in this comic reminded me of the first movie. Like how Hellboy comes to our world, who brought him from his world to ours, the Nazi story, his relationship with a certain scientist, his two rather unusual compan
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second time I've read this, the first being around the time the first or second movie came out, but I remember not bothering with reading the rest. Why? I honestly don't know.

This has a great Cthulhu vibe to it, mixing old Nazis, Rasputin, private eyes, sea gods, and even a misspelling of Ereshkigal, Sumerian goddess of the underworld. What's not to like?

Well, maybe I was just in a mood then or a mood now, but by the time I finished this volume today, I'm in the mood to keep on going
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I watched the movies when they came out and I though they where ok but nothing to write home about.After it I had some interest in comic but not enough to put it high on my to read list.My interest rose significantly after The goon/ Hellboy crossover and now after finishing available New 52 Batman comics I finally started this series.

After all this time time I should have learned that movies rarely have much in common with comics they are based on. Movie is classical colorful hero movie with cla
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Mignola mixes in Nazis, Rasputin, and H.P. Lovecraft into a bubbling, smoking cocktail worthy of Hellboy itself. The scripting here is verbose, but then again it's John Byrne. The story plods in spots. The plotting and voices of the characters gets much better in later volumes, once Byrne is no longer involved. Going back and re-reading this, I'd forgotten how much this lays the groundwork for further stories. Even The Visitor makes an appearance. I love the mixing of Nazis and Lovecraftian lore ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: saw-the-movie, hoopla
I always dug Mike Mignola's art as a young teen, he was one of the first comics artists (along with Liefeld and Lee) I felt had a very distinctive style.

That said, the writing on this book was...not the best. I wish I could summon (even demonically!) the enthusiasm people seem to have for the character and the stories but, even though I found them movies pretty OK, I'm not there yet after this volume.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the Guillermo Del Toro movies. Therefore, it piqued my interest to check out the comics.

The first story is sort of a murder mystery case, and it's also Hellboy's origin-story in a sense.
There were some parts in the book that felt a little bit jumbled, but for the most part, it didn't bother me. I am, however, shocked that Mignola didn't write it. I'm assuming he had a hand in the writing though. That being said, John Byrne did a solid introduction.

Overall, good writing, and the artwork by
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, horror, fantasy
The first book of Hellboy can best be described as The X-Files in Arkham. Totally relevant to my interests. For the most part, it delivers. The villain is a little monologue-y, but that seems to be in character for him. I liked Hellboy's narration, and the art is striking. Aside from the main storyline, there are also a couple of short, action-packed comics there are pretty fun to read. ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love Mike Mignola's art style--chunky and dark with occasional flashes of brilliant colors. In this story, Hellboy goes up against a Nazi-sponsored Rasputin, but Rasputin has his own plans. The only weak point in this story is that it isn't really clear why Rasputin is doing what he is doing other than he's just evil. ...more
I am a man who loves good comic books, and Mike Mignola's Hellboy is exactly that. Good.

It's a solid comic yarn with a charmingly antithetical leading man, fitting pencils, beautiful colour and noirish scripting (helped on by John Byrne in this early volume).

Mike Mignola loves a great action sequence, and Hellboy's big ol' "Right Hand of Doom" and terrible aim with "The Good Samaritan" -- the oversized revolver the eponymous leading man received as a gift from the Torch of Liberty -- ensure tha
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This comic was very great!
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, horror
Why haven't I read this sooner? Mike Mignola pens a great tale in this, Seed of Destruction, my first Hellboy book. I truly enjoyed everything about it from the haunting and atmospheric artwork to the wonderful tale being told. This is what good comics and good artwork look like.

I really liked this "introduction" to Hellboy. It seems Rasputin, even though they don't specifically call him that, survived his assassination attempt by making a deal with the Serpent. The Serpent promised him life and
L. McCoy
Man, I wanted to like this more. I didn’t.

What’s it about?
There’s this supernatural creature from Hell that a group of paranormal investigators find as a child and call him Hellboy. He investigates supernatural events and fights monsters as he doesn’t want to be an evil demon but a good guy instead, in this arc he has to deal with some creepy stuff involving frogs.

Hellboy is a bad-a** and interesting fellow.
The art is fantastic!
This book is very unpredictable. Lots of suspense throughout.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
So much better on the second reading! John Byrne's writing style is still an annoyance, but oh man, did I miss so many important details from this volume when I first read it. Hellboy is an incredible story, even if it took me a long while to get into it the first time I was reading the books. But the atmosphere, the mythos, the great artwork — it's all already here, in the very first trade. Still, it gets sooo much better in the following volumes — I can't recommend Hellboy enough!

First read: S
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it

Nazi-fighting demon? Satanic Rasputin? Mythical monsters? Sign me up!

Unfortunately when compared to the Sistine Chapel it's no wonder I was disappointed--the editor made this comparison in jest, obviously, but made it nonetheless. Hellboy isn't bad--in fact there's fantastic art, a great story, and some great one-liners--but I was just expecting some indie comic nonstop thrill ride. It's dark fantasy meets historical fiction, but the action reads more like crime procedural meets old school horr
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Like Hellboy? This is where to start with the graphic novels, if you haven't already read it. You'll like it. I promise.

Not familiar with Hellboy? Start reading here, it's an awesome origin. There's really nothing else like it. Also, see the movies, they're by Guillermo del Toro, and they're really good.

Don't like Hellboy? Well that's on you. What isn't to like about a paranormal graphic novel following a trenchcoat-wearing demon that fights evil monsters and Nazis, occasionally at the same time
Himanshu Karmacharya
One hell of a first volume!

Mike Mignola's art is always a win. It gives off a gothic feel, and seems to go so well with this comic book. My feelings towards John Byrne's writing is mixed. The narration is written well, but the dialogues are unnecessarily verbose. The characters are yet to be fleshed out, but the introduction is interesting enough to keep the readers captivated.
 Danielle The Book Huntress
Reread: January 2019:

Actually a lot weirder than the movies, and that's saying something!

Previous Review:

It was really interesting to read the comic for Hellboy after seeing the movie first and so many years ago. It's no secret how much I love Hellboy. I am eternally grateful to the Guillermo Del Toro movie (made with Mignola as his concept and art designer) for introducing me to this wonderful character and world where dark folklore has a vivid life (with some added humor). I think that seeing
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was fun and refreshing! The story was unique, the art seemed to vibe really well, and it was a great way to start off the New Year! Happy 2020 everyone!!
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first handful of Hellboy comics collected by Darkhorse. Hellboy (not his real name, but no one, including him, knows his real name) is self-billed as the “world’s greatest paranormal investigator.” And, maybe this is what attracted Guillermo del Toro to make a movie of his origin and adventures.

One of the attractions of Hellboy is his looks (see cover). But as he says, “I may not be as scary as I look, but I’m every bit as tough.” In fact, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, may embody most of h
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having only seen the Hellboy movies, this comic was a bit of a surprise. First of all, this really isn't a comic about over-the-top action. Everything is very dark, subdued, and moody. It's almost as if someone took a Lovecraft story and plopped Hellboy down in the middle of it.

There is, of course, some action, but it really doesn't feel like it's what this book is about. It's really trying to set a certain mood, and I think it does its job admirably. Overall, I am glad that this was different
Eddie B.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
A nice story with a nice Lovecraftian flavor and some really good art. Mike Mignola you Great Old One!
Bernie Gourley
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This four-part story presents Hellboy’s origin and then transitions to an account of how Rasputin attempts to co-opt an adult Hellboy in service to the Russian mystic’s demonic master. That sounds disjointed, but it’s not because Rasputin is integrally involved in Hellboy’s origin. Movie fans may notice that that description mirrors the plot of the first Ron Perlman “Hellboy” movie (2004.) It does, and this volume serves as an influence on that movie (also, the bound collection of the component ...more
Beautiful visually, creative designs and I like the use of solid colours.

Not the best plot or characterisation but it all sure as hell looked cool.
I expected to like this more.
Melissa McShane
Re-read 7/30/15: This story is heavy with symbolism, possibly too heavy if you consider how many stories it draws on: Rasputin, Nazi occultism, otherworldly evil, sin and redemption. Hellboy was deliberately brought into our world to serve Rasputin's purposes in giving ultimate power to a great evil, but rejects that destiny in favor of...the fascinating thing is that he's not entirely sure who he's meant to be, except that he stands in opposition to whatever threatens his adopted world. Add to ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas
  • Watchmen #1: At Midnight, All The Agents....
  • Batman: The Long Halloween
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, #1)
  • V de Vendetta, Tomo 1 (V for Vendetta #1 de 2)
  • Saga, Volume 1
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • V for Vendetta
  • Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk
  • 300
  • Marvels
  • Civil War: A Marvel Comics Event
  • Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 1
  • All-Star Superman, Vol. 1
  • V for Vendetta #1
  • Ghost World
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn't remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.

In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began wo

Other books in the series

Hellboy (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Wake the Devil (Hellboy, #2)
  • The Chained Coffin and Others (Hellboy, #3)
  • The Right Hand of Doom (Hellboy, #4)
  • Conqueror Worm (Hellboy, #5)
  • Strange Places (Hellboy, #6)
  • The Troll Witch and Others (Hellboy, #7)
  • Darkness Calls (Hellboy, #8)
  • The Wild Hunt (Hellboy, #9)
  • The Crooked Man and Others (Hellboy, #10)
  • The Bride of Hell and Others (Hellboy, #11)

Related Articles

  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
73 likes · 20 comments
“I'd be the first to admit that I have no shortage of faults.
But if I had to pick one, the one that's gotten me into the most trouble over the years...
...it would be that I sometimes get angry.”
More quotes…