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The Best Hellboy Stories Worth Reading (and Buying) After the Movie

Hellboy Header Mike Mignola

With Hellboy opening in theaters everywhere this past weekend, Dark Horse Comics' devilish demon hunting superhero is back in a big way. Even if it didn't exactly wow critics or audiences, director Neil Marshall's cinematic reboot of the franchise draws heavily from the original comic book source material so, with that in mind, now is a great time to get back into Mike Mignola's fan-favorite character and his extensive back catalogue of comic book stories and modern masterpieces.

Including the stories that directly influenced the new film, here are some of the very best Hellboy comic books of all time for newcomers looking for the perfect jumping on point or longtime fans looking to rediscover why they fell in love with Big Red in the first place.

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HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT

Hellboy the Wild Hunt

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Hellboy: The Wild Hunt is the one comic book story that serves as the most overt inspiration for the hero's cinematic reboot. In Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo's 2008 storyline, Hellboy travels to England to find the truth about his destiny and avert the apocalypse. Steeped in Arthurian legend, the tale has been heralded as one of the greatest Hellboy stories ever told.

The Wild Hunt features Big Red out of his element as he teams up with an secret order to confront Nimue, the Queen of Blood, and stop her from enacting her master plan to bring about the end of the world, which relies the legendary sword Excalibur and Hellboy himself . Easily accessible to newcomers to the franchise, the story is one of the long-running character's very best.

HELLBOY: SEED OF DESTRUCTION

Hellboy Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola

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The story that started it all, 1994's Hellboy: Seed of Destruction is written by Mike Mignola and John Byrne and illustrated by Mignola telling the origins of Big Red and his strange world including the B.P.R.D. and allies Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman and Roger the Homunculus from his arrival on Earth during World War II to his adventures in present day.

The first volume of the long-running series sees Hellboy  summoned by Nazi occultists before being enlisted in efforts to prevent Hell itself erupting as Earth's as its most unlikely hero.

HELLBOY: THE RIGHT HAND OF DOOM

Hellboy the Right Hand of Doom

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The fourth volume of Hellboy, The Right Hand of Doom, expanded the eponymous demon hunting character's background, especially in its explanation behind his signature enlarged right hand and the apocalyptic destiny it was foretold to play.

Written and illustrated by Mignola, the story follows Big Red after he's unsettled by recent events and undergoes a vision quest of sorts to find out more about his own place in the world and the prophecy he has been predicted to play a major role in. With Hellboy's right hand playing a major role in the original film and reboot, the fourth volume is a particularly important and revelatory one in the larger mythos of the character.

HELLBOY: THE CONQUEROR WORM

Hellboy The Conqueror Worm by Mike Mignola

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The fifth volume of the franchise, Conqueror Worm, is an especially pivotal one in the history of the character, introducing the fan-favorite character Lobster Johnson who makes his own live-action debut in Marshall's reboot, as well as expanding Hellboy's links to World War II and the Third Reich.

Building off of the Nazis' secret missions of the second World War, Hellboy and Roger Homunculus investigate the Germans' space program decades in the past and contending with what exactly it brought back to Earth. Written and illustrated by Mignola, the story arc is the last one illustrated by the Hellboy creator in over a decade and introduces a new foe that would haunt the characters for years to follow.

HELLBOY IN HELL

Hellboy in Hell

GET IT NOW: $10.99

As the first Hellboy story written and illustrated Mignola in years, Hellboy in Hell was always going to be noteworthy. Hexplores what becomes of the hero after he descends to Hell before he can fulfill the prophecy regarding his own devilish destiny.

Told across two volumes, the 2015 story presents one of the more bizarre depictions of the underworld ever put to the page. It also sees Big Red dealing with his own death and subsequent afterlife, while continuing to face off against evil in Hell and prevent it from consuming the Earth.

In theaters now, director Neil Marshall’s Hellboy stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as Nimue, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio.

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