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Is It Good? Hellboy and the B.R.P.D. 1952 #4 Review

Last issue, Hellboy’s first field mission went into the sewer. This issue, we see how he gets out of there (since this is set in the past and we know he will). Is it good?


Hellboy and the B.R.P.D. 1952 #4 (Dark Horse Comics)


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Archie and Hellboy climb over a pile of human skeletons and into a lab of electrode-fitted, cigarette smoking monkeys.

hellboy-and-the-brpd-1952-4-cigarette-smoking-monkeys
Yeah… things got weird really quick.

Unfortunately, that’s about the most innocuous thing they discover in the shady film director’s secret lair. In addition the countless tubes of dead human test subjects/experiments, one of them appears to have been successfully extracted and taught how to wield a huge axe.

An awesome fight scene ensues involving Hellboy, Archie, and some creepy undead henchmen. Lots of lab equipment and walls gets smashed, which ends up leading the BPRD duo into something that makes everything we’ve seen until look
normal by comparison.

The issue concludes with a mythology history lesson, a terrifying enemy, and the possibility of VERY unlikely alliance…or at least a shared goal between mortal enemies.

Is it Good?

Ugh. Does this really have to be just a miniseries? It looks great, has a perfect tone, and it’s delivering a great story coupled with some awesome action.

About the only drawback is how much it’s beginning to lean on early Hellboy mythology. That’s obviously to be expected with a series like this, but it’s moving from ‘easter egg/narrative enhancement’ and into the realm of ‘required knowledge.’ That’s still not a totally bad thing, but it could definitely make readers new to Hellboy (which this series almost certainly attracted) a bit confused.

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But in the end, this is a very forgivable misstep. Not only is the story by Mignola/Arcudi fun and effective, but Maleev’s art is top notch in this action heavy issue. Dave Stewart’s colors also deserve praise, giving the book a vibrant look while still maintaining a washed out, classic feel.

Barring a complete collapse in next month’s final issue, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1942 should be a must read for fans of the Mignolaverse old and new.

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