So I recently complained about not knowing what was happening in Superboy volume 2. I was totally lost; felt dropped in the middle of a story I had no investment in.
This is the opposite of that. I started off in the same place. I have absolutely no memory of what happened in the last couple BPRD flashback books. Other than Professor Bruttholm, I don’t remember any characters. But IT DOESN’T MATTER. This book has everything you need to get invested in the current mystery. This book has horror, gore, action, and a great set of characters that pulls you right in.
A friend of mine just said “how can a comic keep being this good” and honestly, I just don’t know. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have been putting out these excellent stories for so long, spanning genres and artistic styles in a magnificent fashion. Hellboy fans will adore these books, of course, but all you have to really like is good stories to get something out of this collection.
Set in 1948, this story is wrapped up with alternate dimensions, atomic bomb testing, and the early days of the BPRD as a military offshoot. One of my favorite aspects of these early days is the way the field agents are basically just US military troops with weird orders. I love monsters, because you can shoot them. And man, do the BPRD guys shoot a lot of monsters in these comics. No cheating vampires or ghosts with no rules, these are big, tentacle monsters that want to eat you.
I’m not a huge fan of Max Fiumara’s art, but honestly, his stuff didn’t bother me here. His monsters look so otherworldly and spooky that I’m willing to look past his odd faces and somewhat cartoony human drawings. Every scene has a strong sense of setting, and again, the action is fantastic. The jump cuts between the soldiers and the monsters sets each conflict in utter clarity.
This scary comic is GOOD!