B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) The Dead Remembered is a three part story that kicks off in 1976. A young Liz Sherman has been with the B.R.P.D. for two years and has yet to leave the facility. Of course, she burned down an entire city killing 32 people including her entire family when she was 11, so I understand her hesitance.
The Dead Remembered begins in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1963 with a woman being attacked on page one. Page two jumps to 1976 with Hellboy and Trevor Bruttenholm discussing a haunting and Hellboy’s general dislike for ghosts, among other things.
It is Hellboy that suggests Bruttenholm brings Liz along on the mission, much to Bruttenhom’s surprise. Apparently, Liz only talks to Hellboy, and he recognizes she needs more than he is able to give in the realm of help. And getting out in the world will do her good. So, Liz is on the mission.
What mission you’re asking? Well, a house in Massachusetts has a history of ghost activity. Slamming doors, gusting winds and things like that, so the B.P.R.D. is called in to help investigate. The story of the ghost begins in England where a young girl named Anne Whittier was accused of witchcraft by Henry Hood. Hood had executed hundreds of men, women and children as a part of England’s very own witchhunting hysteria. The Whittier’s fled to America where Anne grew up to have a large family of her own and a very good life. Of course the story doesn’t end there because the witchhunting hysteria make’s it’s way across the pond. Because of her past, Anne was once again suspected of witchcraft. Her husband Thomas Caldwell died in chains, but Anne was eventually freed when the courts ended the trials. While other accused people were able to move on and return to their lives, Anne was not afforded that luxury. The townspeople formed an angry mob, killed her and then burned her house to the ground. As soon as Bruttenholm and Liz learn this tidbit of information a door slams and a ball of fire flies out of the fireplace.
The story doesn’t end there, so before I get too spoiler-y, you should run out and pick up the book. Why should you pick up this book? Well, the art is fantastic. Karl Moline and Andy Owens are a great team and their artwork exactly fits the tone of this story. Especially they way they draw the flashback sequences as it does a great job setting them apart from the 1976 “present day” story.
Writer (and Hellboy creator) Mike Mignola does an impressive job with Liz. We all know where she ends up, but seeing her beginnings is something new. There haven’t been a lot of young Liz stories told, so it’s a nice change of pace for the Hellboy-verse to focus on her for a story arc.
There you have it, B.P.R.D. The Dead Remembered #1 in a nutshell. There is obviously more to the story, and I can’t wait to see the next installment. Until then, make sure you run out and pick up this book, you won’t be disappointed.