The world’s most popular personification of the devil’s spawn, Hellboy, is featured in this beautifully sketched graphic novel, Hellboy and the BPRD 1952. Hellboy appears to be a mere teenager in this comic and is definitely not the snarky, robust man we’ve grown accustomed to from the Ron Perlman movies. Reclusive as always, but not so moody and apparently rather inexperienced, he is dispatched on his very first mission with the BPRD, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The professor who found and raised him is featured briefly, as is a motherly maid, and we meet a new team of monster hunters; one of which is ironically named Archie, and even more ironically, he is a redhead. Not to get too far off point here, but when did Archie Andrews collaborate with Hellboy? Talk about teenage angst!
Off to Brasil they go, where a series of strange deaths and deep-rooted fear of something frightful grips the locals. Hellboy and his troupe embark on an adventure full of monstrosities, evil Nazi activists, and…smelly green goo? This book is 145 pages of terrific art and for the most part, good writing. I believe that it could use a little work, especially in Hellboy’s dialogue, but there’s really nothing I like more in the dialogue than the sharp line Hellboy delivers to the wannabe-head-honcho in charge of all the monsters. No spoilers here, you’ll have to read that witty bit for yourself.
The art, as I’ve mentioned, is fantastic. I especially love page 79, a picture of Hellboy traipsing through the place they found to be the root of the Nazi’s plans. I love the rugged lines and the brute-like look they give Hellboy. I do prefer the polished, sexy appearance of Ron Perlman’s Hellboy, but this one leans a little more to the monstrous side of him, the inhuman part. Join in our favorite non-human’s adventures in this issue, and stick around for more to come. This graphic novel also includes some of the artists’ sketches of scenes and characters before they were finalized, making it a great find for artists who appreciate these panels!
Written by: Mike Mignola
Art by: Alex Maleev and Dave Stewart
Various covers by: Mike Mignola, Alex Maleev, and Dave Stewart
145 pages, some color, some b/w