Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #2

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #2

Writer: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clem Robins
Cover Artist: Alex Maleev

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #2 is where the action starts. The first issue didn’t have much action and was mostly a setup for the good stuff. Here we get to see Hellboy in his first brawl, the monster on the loose, and a few surprises for the B.P.R.D. team.

Everythings starts off at night as the priest and the boy venture out into the night armed only with their faith as they confront the demon that has been plaguing the town. There is plenty of imagery to reinforce the eerie, spooky quality of the story. Tombstones juxtaposed with a priest’s gown, a looming castle before a large, wooden cross and numerous crucifixes cast in shadow. It all adds to the atmosphere.

When the demon reveals itself, it’s almost anticlimactic. It’s a red eyed monkey with long fangs and long white hair sitting on the cross. That’s when the action kicks in, albeit briefly. An intense moment that ends quickly and transitions to the investigation. Throughout the issue, the comic makes great use of pacing. There are little bursts of excitement that then shifts back to storytelling, plot development and character reveals. It gives the characters time to breath and makes the action that much more intense when it hits.

Adding to the story are some nice bits of mystery. A lot of little nods are made to elements that are left just outside the readers’ range of comprehension. One of the agents gets bursts of intuition about something that’s not right, but the story doesn’t reveal any details as to what it might be. The caretaker of the castle provides yet another source of mystery with his odd driver who won’t let anyone else in the car, and his offscreen partner who he speaks to in the castle. There’s a much bigger surprise and mystery toward the end that raises even more questions, and ties in with elements hinted at in the first issue. It’s nice to read a story with such a strong element of intrigue.

While the art style does have a dark, simplified look to it’s depictions, it fits well with the story and has been a long standing style for the series as a whole. This isn’t the first Hellboy comic I’ve read, and I’ve always found the comics to be fun, both to read and to enjoy visually. The artwork does a great job of portraying the characters and the action. However, it’s the raw vibe that the art exudes that adds to the emotion of the story. From the way the background colors change from a cool blue to vibrant orange in order to emphasize action, to the enhanced starkness of Hellboy’s skin color and the evil glow of the demon’s red eyes, the simplicity of the artwork makes the coloring standout tenfold. It also allows for a darker feeling comic. Shadows and shading works well with the lighter details.

In the end, I definitely enjoyed this issue more than the first, as this one kicks up the action and lays out the mystery. Readers get to see an inexperienced Hellboy on his first mission with a wily demon monkey. He deals with the unknown, his own inexperience, and treachery. I’m certainly eager to see what he’ll get into next, or perhaps more importantly, how he’ll get out of it. With a great story and artwork, I give Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #2 a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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