In the first issue of ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.‘ we were shown a period of the past as Hellboy was quite literally going on his first mission with the B.P.R.D. Yes, it’s 1952 and we get to see what is to be the beginning of nearly a life long calling for Mignola’s most known character.

His “father”, Professor Bruttenholm, had realized that there wasn’t much more he could teach him while on base and that the young man was too restless to stay still for long. The solution? Send him out into the world. I’m sure we all know how well that is going to go. Especially when we find out that there is a traitor in their midst!

Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are crafting a truly fun story that really gives us a shout back to the adventures that Hellboy went through when it wasn’t dealing with end of the world scenarios. While I’m still dying to see what Mignola will wrap up ‘Hellboy in Hell’ and hopefully return him to the land of the living, this is the next best thing that I could ask for. Actually with the world still ahead of him, this could be even a better read than I had expected. I’m not usually a fan of preludes but Mignola has years of Hellboy’s life unaccounted for or hinted at with the ability to finally flesh out his story.

Visually Alex Maleev is able to set the tone all his own while clearly still a Hellboy comic. There is an homage being paid to Mignola’s style while still keeping it clearly different and extremely well done. The mood is set to be dark and yet the colors, when shown, are vibrant. We don’t get too much action but what does end up in panel is quite striking. I say that literally as Hellboy is getting hit in the face over and over again!

In this tale of a haunted castle and townsfolk being mysteriously killed, we really do get a ‘Hellboy’ story of old. It is actually refreshing in a way that we don’t have to deal with the end of the world for a bit and while we know that our hero isn’t in danger, the other humans he is surrounded with might all have a pretty short shelf life. Especially as we see the demonic creature that they are first up against who is quite easily knocking Hellboy around.

Demons aside, there is still a traitor in their midst. While we don’t know who he works for or what he wants, the man makes his first move in this issue and we’re left to wait until the next to find out what happens.

Once again the Mignola Universe is expanding and while the story we’re getting here is firmly set in the past, it is done in a style that will put a smile on your face and be as eager as I am for the next issue to be released. For fans of old, this will be a great trip down memory lane for you and not from a rehashed storyline but from the feel that existed in Hellboy’s earlier adventures being featured so prominently here.


Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Alex Maleev