Review: Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #4

If you’re a die-hard fan of Hellboy, you’ve already picked up this book and the three issues before it. However, you might be like me and have just let Hellboy fall off your reading list. Well, you probably want to hear from someone that let it fall to the wayside only to pick up the latest issue, if for no reason than to read something that might be good.

26151HELLBOY AND THE BPRD #4

Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Alex Maleev
FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price:$3.50

SOLICITATION:

After an explosion sends Hellboy into the sewers, he finds himself lost below a Portuguese fortress. But when he finds the way out, he stumbles into something even more ominous.

REVIEW:

Set in 1952, this story features a younger Hellboy working with the B.P.R.D. The dynamic is refreshing to see as I’ve only known Hellboy as the grizzled veteran. Throughout the story, when Archie calls Hellboy “kid” I find myself taken aback, because even at this early age, Hellboy looks the same. There’s not much to differentiate young Hellboy from his older counterpart that most casual readers would be familiar with. I’m not certain who is responsible for the dialogue, but this Hellboy still sounds a bit like his older self.

All that being said, the story is paced very well, and knowing that this is the next to last issue of the story, it seems to have left itself at a point where the story seems like it can wrap up in twenty or so pages. The fight scene is done well, and seems to be staged so we get an understanding of the environments. It’s so well staged, it almost has the feel of a video game where the enemies lead to the big boss that must be defeated after he delivers the summary of everything for the characters.

Art-wise, the book is much stronger. Arcudi captures the essence of Mignola’s style that’s come to be expected in Hellboy stories. Returning to Hellboy after so long, that was refreshing, as the handful of comics I’ve seen since really getting into a Hellboy comic were by artists whose style didn’t have the dark aesthetic and departed so far from Mignola’s style that they seemed like another comic that Hellboy was appearing in. I don’t get that sense here.

Will I set out to read the rest of the story? Possibly. That’s the best that I can say. If I were paying for these comics, I might very well not, since it just didn’t seem like it had it all together, and instead, I’d be more inclined to pick up something like Lady Killer. However, if I were really wanting to read something, I might make the other issues of this mini-series an impulse choice now.