Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: Hellboy and The B.P.R.D. 1954 by M. Mignola et al.

Hellboy and The B.P.R.D. 1954 written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, art by Stephen Green, Patric Reynolds, Brian Churilla, and Richard Corbin, colors by Dave Stewart

Four stories from Hellboy's early career at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense!

1. Black Sun--Hellboy and a team go to the Arctic to investigate a possible yeti sighting, though the scientific team there is divided over whether it was just a polar bear. The menace turns out to be neither after the team discovers a downed saucer (as in flying saucer). Hellboy gets inside and it sinks, leading to an even weirder adventure. I liked how the story kept shifting ground with each twist.

2. The Unreasoning Beast--A man's brother died in a fire and the brother's pet monkey (who also died) is haunting him. The story goes by quickly and is not nearly as weird as a typical Hellboy tale. It does deliver the melancholy, though.

3. Ghost Moon--Hellboy is sent to China as a favor to Lady Cynthia Eden-Jones, head of the British equivalent of the B.P.R.D. In Hong Kong, it's the seventh month of the Chinese calendar, the titular Ghost Moon. The locals celebrate a "Hungry Ghost Festival" where spirits come back from the afterlife in search of food and entertainment. A local British import/export business had been looking for a Hunping, a funerary urn or spirit jar, and they have run into trouble. Usually, there's one jar per spirit, but this particular jar is collecting lots of spirits, especially in this month. The story has a lot of fun mythology and a typical Hellboy ending.

4. The Mirror--Hellboy goes in search of the Mirror of Saint-Bouget. Saint-Bouget is a lost French town where a rich man's daughter became a witch who consorted with demons. When the dad came with the local priest to confront her, the demons fled with the girl into a mirror. The priest blessed the mirror and trapped them inside. The story isn't much more than that--just a showcase for Richard Corbin's moody and evocative art.

I liked Ghost Moon the best. All the stories are fun and spooky--typical Hellboy storytelling.


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