An all-star creative team brings us a series set during Hellboy’s first foray into working for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development. Is it good?
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
A much younger (and still alive) Professor Trevor Bruttenholm is having a horrible dream about Hellboy’s worst possible future when he’s awakened to brief a team for their next mission.
“Thank goodness for the strategically placed sash!”
It all seems like pretty standard stuff until they find out that the giant red demon will be tagging along with them for the first time.
As you might expect, this causes the multi-national crew to all react different. The one who’s the biggest douchnozzle about it is also (obviously) hiding something. Fortunately, a majority of the team seems alright with Big Red. He takes flight with them to Brazil to hunt down some type of homicidal/supernatural monster, where more group dysfunction and creepiness begins to stir…
Is it Good?
…and that’s about it.
Don’t get me wrong. The premise and setting of this series has me all types of excited to keep reading it. The dialogue by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi does a great job of quickly establishing distinct personalities for a large cast of characters while also nailing how a ‘green’ Hellboy would sound and act during his time out.
Add in Alex Maleev’s gorgeous artwork, and you’ve got the recipe for one heck of a series opener…except that not very much happens. We get a lot of set up, a couple Bruttenholm flashbacks, a handful of great character moments, and then the story just stops.
Obviously it will pick up next issue, but I was hoping to get to see a young and inexperienced Hellboy in the field a bit. The wonderful job of establishing the cast makes the lack of narrative momentum forgivable, but it still causes the issue to fall short of the potential that such an exceptional creative team is capable of achieving.
All that being said, the book’s look and tone are wonderful—plenty of good things going on to have me very excited to see where things go from here.