Going Back to the Beginning with Hellboy and the BPRD 1952December 2, 2014
I have always found the story of Hellboy to be an interesting one and followed him over the years through the movies and numerous written collections including comics like this one. It didn’t surprise me that this was good as the talent they put together on this run was impressive and then some. I was surprised at just how damn good the comic looked, giving it the authentic feel that Hellboy truly deserves.
With the writing team of Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and the artwork and colors by Alex Maleev and Dave Stewart, this comic had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it did that and then some.
In 1952 we find Hellboy on the verge of going on his first mission with the men from the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. (B.P.R.D.) It’s not an easy call for Professor Trevor Bruttenholm but as he has raised Hellboy for the past eight years he knows he can’t protect him forever.
While there is more going on in this comic such as Bruttenholm’s visions and a traitor in their midst, the story rightly focuses on Hellboy and his first steps on learning what it’s like to be part of an actual team. As we know from his later years that he ‘resists’ having to count on anyone but a select few, it will be interesting to see how he deals with this in his first years out in the field.
Migolna and Arcudi have given us another solid story in the life story of Hellboy, wetting our appetite for what they have in store for us with this series. While this was just a launching point issue, they did a good job of setting up some possible scenarios and dropping clues of problems that may arise in this series.
While the writing was good, the art was great. Maleev and Stewart combine to make a striking and intense looking comic that has some great shadow work and some great backgrounds. The one two punch of these two artists make this comic stand out with some great work on almost every page.
The characters have interesting and defined faces and features that go well with the whole mood of the comic. The paneling was straightforward and while it was nothing revolutionary it really didn’t matter as it seemed to fit perfectly with the telling of the story.
Hellboy himself is a great character but with a interesting story and great artwork like that on the pages of B.P.R.D. 1952, I have no doubt the next issues will be even better.