Books & Graphic Novels

Cold Brew: Hellboy & B.P.R.D. 1954 Series Begins

bellboy, dark horse comics, mike mignola
Dark Horse Comics “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Black Sun” #1, Artist Mike Huddleston

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Black Sun #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016

No Spoilers…

Writers Mike Mignola and Chris Robeson in collaboration with artist Stephen Green and colorist Dave Stewart, bring their most famous creation to an arctic setting. There’s plenty of action and intrigue blended with the deadpan humor we’ve come to expect from our favorite scion of Hades. Fans of 1950’s science fiction will find Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Black Sun an absolute bulls-eye. Issue one is filled with overtones of the John W. Campbell novella “Who Goes There?,” most notably filmed as The Thing from Another World in the 1950’s by Howard Hawks and in the 1980’s by John Carpenter simply as The Thing.

Black Sun issue 1 introduces us to a new B.P.R.D. affiliate, the young cryptozoologist Woodrow Farrier. The character seems named with a bit of a nudge and a wink, as a farrier is a horse shoeing specialist. By the issues’ end the adventure expands beyond a Yeti hunt into unexpected territory.

This Dark Horse Comics series opener skates your way on September 21, 2016.
bellboy, dark horse comics, mike mignolaSkeletonpete Says…
Hmm, as a speculative setting for a third Hellboy movie this might afford director Guillermo Del Toro a gateway to the frosty Mountains of Madness after all .
bellboy, dark horse comics, mike mignola

Books & Graphic Novels

Strapping Young Lad: Hellboy & the B.P.R.D. (1952)

Hellboy joins the B.P.R.D. for his first mission in 1952.
Hellboy joins the B.P.R.D. for his first mission in 1952.

Portrait of the Agent as a Young Hellboy…
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (with John Arcudi) spins up a new mini-series for Dark Horse Comics charting the earliest mission of the big red guy. It’s 1952 and the Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense is adding a global vision to its explorations. They’ll be investigating the possible occult nature of mass murders in a small Brazilian mountain town and, at the urging of B.P.R.D. Director Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, taking along their until now sequestered ward.
Mike Mignola's issue #1 alternative cover art.
Mike Mignola’s issue #1 alternative cover art.

Shadows and Tall Trees…
Artist Alex Maleev (George Romero’s Empire of the Dead) renders atmospheric, “hard lit,” panels that convey the nuevo-noir feel of 1960’s – 70’s Italian giallo films like those of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. It’s an appropriate analog to Mignola’s own stark style and to my eye reminiscent of Eugene Colan’s work (Daredevil, The Tomb of Dracula) in the unabashed use of swaths of opaque black. Longtime Mignola collaborator Colorist Dave Stewart(Baltimore) heightens the effect by establishing a monochromatic pallet that makes the Hellboy’s red complection all the more incongruous and striking.

If there are any Hellboy novices left after 20 years of publication and two Guillermo del Toro films, the first issue of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 offers readers enough backstory to make this an easy entry point. Issue one hits comic stands on December 3, 2014 and the 5 issue mini-series will run monthly through April 2015. The tale promises to be a core addition to the HB mythos.

A look ahead to Alex Maleev's issue #3 cover art.
A look ahead to Alex Maleev’s issue #3 cover art.