Hellboy and the BPRD 1952 #1

8 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Story: 9/10

Solid Hellboy Prequel.

Artwork becomes difficult to decipher images.

Hellboy and the BPRD 1952 #1
Written by: Mike Mingola & John Arcudi
Art by: Alex Maleev
Published by: Dark Horse Comics


Prequels are tough. While an author can capitalize on the familiarity of an audience with a character, there’s very little they can do to build a sense of danger. Remember the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin? Flashy and interesting to watch, but boring. We know who wins. We even know how they win, so is there a point to seeing it?

Mignola and Arcudi are taking a risk by jumping backwards in the timeline, however, they are also veteran enough storytellers to know they should take a different approach. Prequels usually lift the fog of the past, and fill in the details on aspects of a character that are mysterious. The story in Hellboy and the BPRD 1952 is about Hellboy’s first mission, and the gamble it was to trust him.

We are treated to the necessary background on Hellboy for any new readers, and then we are off and running as the BPRD are sent on a mission to Brazil. This time Hellboy will be going with them to begin his career, and let him get out for a change. The mission is to a creepy little village in the middle of the jungle with a decrepit torture castle and a variety of shady characters. And….

Well that’s it. The book just cuts off. Buy issue two is you want to know more.

Alex Maleev’s artwork is in lock step with the Hellboy look and feel. It sticks with the aesthetic of the book, but eventually wares on the eyes. The scratchy pencils conceal details that build suspense, but frustrate the reader.

What’s telling about this story is Mignola and Arcudi are in no hurry to get to the fireworks factory, and don’t give a damn how this gets cut into issues. They wrote a Hellboy story and Dark Horse can fiure out how to make it to stands. When you read this book, you can sense there is a tasty long story arch ahead, but the sudden cut off frustrates me, rather than entices me to read more. This will be a great trade, and if you can stand the suspense, check it out in issues.




Author: Peter Schmeiser View all posts by
Peter fancies himself a comic book critic since he is one of the last comic book readers in southwest Florida. When he isn't reading and writing reviews for movies, TV and comic books, he’s binge-watching shows, marathoning movies, podcasting, and performing classical music.

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