Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #3

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #3

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

Whether being attacked by hand grenades or alligators, Hellboy is a hard guy to stop. In this issue he survives betrayal and judgment from a mysterious native and his alligator partner. Meanwhile the B.P.R.D. squad takes out the monkey monster and horde of other beasties as the plot thickens. One way or another, this issue packs in the action.

Where things left off, Hellboy was about to be attacked by a fellow member of his team. In this issue he gets blown up and Bob runs off to tell the rest of the team that Hellboy is dead. Then they get attacked by the monkey monster and make short work of it with some gunfire. Turns out the monkey is just a monkey and not anything more sinister, except for the probes sticking out of it’s skull. As more frankenstein monkey’s show up, the carnage gets unleashed, and the B.P.R.D. rack up a high score. They get a glimpse of something evil in the castle on the hill, but the rest of that mystery gets left for the next issue.

When they’re not killing messed up monkeys, they find Hellboy still alive. There’s an odd scene where a native and an alligator argue over Hellboy’s life, deciding whether he’s worth saving and commenting on the doom that will surely follow. Ultimately they spare him and Hellboy magically gets better, good enough to start running toward the next mystery. Having woke up in the sewers under the town–or some sort of underground catacombs/stream–he finds a pit full of skeletal remains. While it’s not explicitly stated, it appears this pile may be under a dungeon door under the creepy castle. All in all, the story takes the action, dashes in some mystery, and kind of feels like a more adult oriented Scooby-Doo tale. I didn’t think I’d ever compare Hellboy to Scooby-Doo, but the comparison is someone apt. Both have detectives chasing down mysteries, and in this case, the mystery is a bit more normal than evil voodoo monkeys.

The artist get to do some fun things in this issue with attacking monkeys, roaming alligators and mysterious evil statues. The action is pretty easy to follow with the panel layout and the art keeps things interesting. The one visual cue I don’t get is the parrot. It shows up on the cover and later in the issue. It seems more important than just a throw away item, but there’s nothing to explain it’s appearance, at least not yet.

One thing I didn’t like about the issue, however, is Bob’s betrayal of Hellboy. Given the setup of the ending of issue #2, Hellboy has to know that Bob tried to kill him. Throughout this issue, I kept expecting an explanation for why, or an confrontation between the two, but we didn’t get either. Plus the rest of the squad seemed very optimistic that it would take more than a hand grenade to kill Hellboy. On one hand, Bob seems like an incompetent character. He’s untrustworthy for starters, but he’s also someone who cuts corners and makes assumptions. He didn’t bother to check and make sure Hellboy was dead after the blast. Instead, he just assumed a guy–who literally looks like the devil–is dead from a small explosion, and then tells everyone else about it. Bob could have been used a bit better, and maybe the next issue will get some more use out of him before he’s thrown away.

In the end, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #3 moves the story forward and gives readers lots of action. It’s an alright issue with decent artwork and dialog, but nothing too outstanding. Bob’s betrayal felt like an underplayed opportunity, and the weird alligator scene didn’t make a whole lot of sense. However, I have a feeling things will pick up as everyone moves inside the evil castle and the horrors that lie in wait there. As is, I give this issue a three out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

 

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