The first thing that popped into my head when reading Dark Horse Comics newest installment in the B.P.R.D. “Hell on Earth” event was, “finally”! A flash back to a time when crazy old Professor O’Donnell wasn’t crazy or old, allows for a refreshing story that finally brings back one of my favorite demonic heroes, Hellboy. Allie writes this book in a way that adds new meaning to the word creepy. If you thought “Pickens County Horror” was incredibly eerie, let’s just say a new champion has been crowned. This one shot issue is one of the best of “Hell on Earth” so far, with an eye opening reveal of O’Donnell’s past.
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
ART BY: Max Fiumara
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: May 30
This story is particularly creepy simply because of the way it is told. Allie always done a stand up job with his BPRD tales, and this issue is no exception. O’Donnell’s past is told from a third person perspective, using language that cranks up the fear of the unknown. The text plays with your head due to the uncertainty in which it is narrated; “this was said to happen, or no one knows if its true, but this is what he said”. The writing sinks into your skin allowing your mind to absorb the pages.
The illustrations depict a pretty mind boggling tale with only bits and pieces of the information confirmed by Hellboys’ account of the events. By presenting the story in this fashion, it allows the reader to make some decisions for themselves; are the illustrations just the recounting of the events? Or are they a true depiction as to what took place that night? This is a chilling way to observe the events, especially with what transpires in the B.P.R.D. world. The storytelling method can get a bit much here as there is a lot going on, but if you let it pull you in, you’ll be thankful for it. The second reason I think this book is top on the list of creepydom is the actual events depicted, sure the telling of the story is a really cool, inventive storytelling, but what’s even more mind blowing is the plot itself.
From an art and color stand point, as always with anything BPRD related, is superb. The way this book is drawn and colored just contributes to the stories creepiness, sketchy lines and dark colors create the perfect atmosphere. This is coupled with the essentially color spotting of Hellboys’ complexion adds a contrast to the dark and dreary setting.
I say anyone who loves, likes, or is interesting in the BPRD world has got to pick up this bone chilling book. “The Transformation of JH O’Donnell” is a tragic tale that represents what BPRD is all about.
Side note: As soon as I finished reading the book, I immediately hopped onto my phone and messaged BD’s own Lonmonster (I know I’m pretty special), and told him how blown away I was and that he must read this one.
Review by – GreenBasterd