Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. universe has really been pushing the “Hell on Earth” event leaving little else new to occupy the shelves. This week that changes with the first instalment of a 5-part mini series entitled B.P.R.D 1948, which takes off right where “1947” left us; this brings back some classic characters like Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Agent Anders, Agent Stegner and the 4 year old Hellboy. This book delves into testing atomic bombs for rocket propulsion in Utah desert and its relation to the appearance of a massive monster, just a day in the life for the average B.P.R.D. employee. The series is meant to evolve the history of B.P.R.D coming away from Europe and Nazis, but unfortunately, this issue offers little in the way of action and excitement.
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
ART BY: Max Fiumara
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: October 17th
This book starts off at slow pace and doesn’t budge from there, getting the reader re-familiarized with the different characters and the current post World War II situation. With a jump through time to 1983, we learn about the newest addition to the story; the beautiful and brilliant physicist Anne Rieu. The reason the Bureau is called has to do with the appearance of a massive monster that is potentially coinciding with low grade and high atmospherical atomic bomb testing to simulate rocket propulsion to the moon. As the story plays out, it appears there is more going on with Anne, the bomb, and the monster than what is on the surface of the story. This book sheds light onto the early B.P.R.D. world, acting as a bridge between present day and its past. While it is only issue #1 of a 5-issue arc, this book is slow burn that doesn’t live up to the current goings on in the “Hell on Earth” event.
The art of this book by Max Fiumara is what I’ve come to expect from this series, sketchy lines and pale colours give the book an eerie feeling. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This issue also features a young horned Hellboy, which since his death in later years is always a treat to come across. Well depicted and the use of vibrant colour spotting for such things as Hellboy and the eyes of the massive monster are subtle creative gestures that go a long way.
This book kick offs what may be the final in the pre-modern era B.P.R.D., taking a substantial twist from its 1946 and 1947 predecessors focusing more on North America as well as taking a science fiction style. If this is the last of the B.P.R.D. history, it lacks the punch it needs to become a classic within Mignola’s work. The story better seriously start to vamp up in coming issues.
Reviewed by- Greenbasterd