Mignola, Arcudi, Maleev, and Stewart continue the tale of Hellboy’s first mission in the field. Is it good?
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Remember Bob from last issue? The dude who was trying to kill Hellboy? He’s still a dick.
Remember the demon monkey from last issue? TOTALLY not a demon. In fact, it’s something much more horrifying and bizarre than just a possessed primate if you can believe it.
…but at least we know it can be stopped with bullets.
Oh, but don’t worry; there’s still plenty of mystical evil to go around. One of the not-demon monkeys grabs a hold of Sue (after she pumped it full of bullets) and gave her a vision of ancient evil residing in the nearby fortress. Unfortunately, the BPRD team has a much more immediate concern.
Remember that sleezy Hollywood producer? He’s got an army of those not-demon monkeys.
Meanwhile, you remember Hellboy? Yeah…he’s gonna be alright. But you already knew that because his adventures go well beyond 1952. Lucky for us, his survival of Bob’s treachery also involves a talking alligator and a really cool reference to his future mythology.
Is It Good?
Now we’re cooking with gas.
In addition to the great artwork by Maleev, one of the things that really shines about this issue is how it combines supernatural and science-fiction elements. Between the Lovecraftian presence of evil in the fortress and the electrode-laden killer monkeys, we’ve got ourselves a pretty cool little horror story.
The issue does suffer a bit from the lack of Hellboy (and a lack of Bob getting his arse kicked), but the end portion helps to make up for it. It can be hard to make a series set in the past feel fresh, but Mignola/Arcudi help tie things into the present with a bit of chilling dialogue.
Add in plenty of action and great visuals, and this series finally feels like its hitting the immense potential of this excellent creative team…with or without demon monkeys.