A young Hellboy! Professor Bruttenholm Still alive! A B.P.R.D. without the resources that puts them at the status of say S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe! Amazing artwork, murder, hints at an apocalyptic future, betrayal! We’ve got a ton on our plate to dig into as the first book in this series begins! Honestly the concept alone of having 50 years of history that Mignola can play around with is fantastic. In comparison to the Marvel Unvierse, this is a character whose roots took place while Captain America had come into his own but without the 40-60 years (depending on timeline) frozen on ice. That means there are literally decades of growth and adventures to explore with fallout from World War 2 through the Cold War. There are years of endless opportunities to explore!
Mike Mignola is always on his game and the first issue of ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.’ shows that he hasn’t lost any of his talent when bringing us a tale of Hellboy’s early years. This isn’t Hellboy as a child but more as a young adult. He’s moody, excited, and not saying goodbye to his foster father as he runs out the door on his first day to school, erm, a real mission that is.
Art wise Alex Maleev perfectly fits the book into the established Mignola Universe as he draws Hellboy trying to take things in and stay cool while clearly being excited.
We’re shown a case in Brazil where people are being mysteriously murdered. Something about the case brings Professor Bruttenholm into the mix and he decides this is the perfect case for Hellboy to sharpen his horns on. However at this time it is unclear if he feels that this is an easier safer case or if he really wants Hellboy to be seeing everything that they come up against. With betrayal in their midst I think that the team will be getting more than they bargained for in both the mission and a side threat that will be popping up. Just with betrayal being involved I’m wondering which enemy is getting ready to setup the B.P.R.D. for trouble and either capture or take out Hellboy.
I mean, in this world if their mission is taking place in a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress known for torturing and murdering prisoners and townsfolk in the area are mysteriously dying there is going to be some kind of a connection.
That being said almost everything here is setup. We’re not getting any of the adventure you can expect in a Hellboy comic but let’s be honest, quite a bit of the enjoyment in these books is how wonderfully Mignola can create a dramatic build up or weave a narrative where you just want to know more.
Once again he succeeds at doing just that.
The first issue that delves into the past of Hellboy on his first real mission with the B.P.R.D. was a strong one. We have hints of what is to come and a certain man who is going to be on bad terms with Hellboy before long. Sadly, the case that they are on has been vague and few details have been truly given as to what they will be up against so far. I have to say that I love the return of Professor Bruttenholm on page and can’t wait to see how Mignola explores the father/son relationship as the series progresses.
HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D. #1
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Alex Maleev