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B.P.R.D. 1946-1948 HC – Review

I’m a sucker for a story that focuses on the little guy.

For all the people that loved the Star Wars movies, I’m the guy that thinks a standalone film about the Bothan plot to steal the Death Star blueprints would be amazing.

That’s exactly how I feel about B.P.R.D.: a book that shines even brighter when it’s not in the shadow of the star that led to its creation.

B.P.R.D. 1946-1948 HC (Dark Horse Comics)

“The giant red bat of death is right behind me again, isn’t it?”

A great deal of Hellboy stories all revolve around Big Red, his relative invulnerability, and his penchant for punching monsters in the teeth. B.P.R.D. takes a more subtle take, with smaller stories that are far more intimate in the close up, but tend to be significantly bigger in the long run. B.P.R.D. 1946-48 does this incredibly well with the direct after effects of World War 2, and Hitler’s plans for a “Vampire Sturm” to destroy the world upon learning that he was not going to win.

Nazis vs. Vampires. Who wins? We all do.

This seems like a big tale. Vampire Nazis? Tell me more! The genius here, and why I’m giving this book a 9.5 out of 10, is that the focus is not on the overall vampire threat, or the balls it takes to have a contingency plan this bad-ass. It’s on Professor Bruttenholm trying unsuccessfully to negotiate with Soviet soldiers in Berlin, a demon disguised as a little girl, and the truth of what nuclear bombs do to our world.

Is It Good?

It’s brilliant. The artwork is the usual high standard you’d expect from a book where the creator spent half his career painstakingly illustrating every issue.

The storylines, which bounce around a bit with the inception of the B.P.R.D. and an X-Files-esque feel to them, are all excellent. A few moments stand-out, like Bruttenholm’s reception when traditional scientists hear his thoughts on “geo-mancy” and a 4 year old, and rapidly developing Hellboy sneaking smokes:

I can’t really find any fault with this, but 10 out of 10 seems like hyperbole. The only downside to the hardcover edition that Dark Horse was awesome enough to send for us to review is that it weighs a ton, and it absolutely fell on my face during a sleepy late night reading session.

Barring any nose breaking, though, this is a great series and a great collection. Highly, highly recommended.


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