If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1!
Let’s start with why I picked up this book to begin with. I love that Hellboy stories all have very clear jumping in points and that story arcs are a set number of issues defined from the start like a mini series. I don’t necessarily want to read every Hellboy story, so this is a good way for me to jump in when I have the mood! Anytime I read Hellboy it reminds me of going to my Grandparents house…
You could blind fold me, spin me around a hundred times, throw me in the trunk of a car and drive me around for days, but if you took me to my Grandparents house I’d know I was there instantly. There was always a distinct smell there. Not in a bad way, just very specific. There was a feeling that I got that accented the smell too. It’s difficult to describe, but its like your senses combined and affected in a unique way that creates a distinct awareness of your surroundings. That’s what I get when I read Hellboy.
No, I don’t smell the book, but the tone and backgrounds and characters all have that vibe that leads me to know its Hellboy. Usually Mike Mignola’s art is what sets that tone, but this book is drawn by Alex Maleev, of Daredevil fame. I wouldn’t have thought it on my own, but he’s a great fit on this book! He captures the world and the characters as perfectly as Mignola would, and if anything, adds an addition touch of spooky to it. Spooky is a recurring theme in Hellboy books.
The story, written by John Arcudi, follows a younger Hellboy as he is permitted on his first mission with the still fairly new Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. There isn’t a lot of action in the first issue, it mostly sets up the story moving forward, giving you vague hints that foreshadow what ‘s to come. It was enough to make me want to pick up the second issue and see where the spookiness leads.
Another thing I like about these stories is they don’t usually require you to know very much about the characters. Sure there’s a bit of recap at the beginning to give you the general gist of where Hellboy came from, but after that’s established its off to the story. Hellboy is a great indy character in that aspect. You can tell a great story in two to five issues and either be done and move on to another story, go back and find more back stories about the character, or eagerly anticipate the next part of the story.
I you like beautiful art, need something to read for fun, like creepy tales of the paranormal, and/or enjoyed any of the Hellboy movies and wanted to jump in and check out the comic, this would be a good place to start! Here is some Alex Maleev Hellboy art so you can see how his style accents and adds to Hellboy!
Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!
The World is Ours to Make!