Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #1
Hellboy is back in the spotlight with the B.P.R.D. How is this possible since Hellboy's departure from the B.P.R.D? Well, this story is set in 1952, hence the title. This story takes us back to Hellboy's 'teen' years, and Hellboy's first mission out with the B.P.R.D. This is not the seasoned Hellboy stories we're used to, but adds to the flavor to see a more reckless, but not as boastful Hellboy. It still gives us enough what we are used to with the stories of paranormal activities, but it doesn't feel repetitive at all.
The story opens with the Professor having a nightmare, showing us that it was for the duration, not the later years of their relationship, that the Professor feared what Hellboy would become. What's most interesting is the girl in the nightmare with the Professor presents herself as his daughter.
The crew are introduced in the following pages, with your some what normal setup for a mission in Brazil to investigate paranormal events involving missing or killed. All seems normal until Professor Bruttenholm announces they will take Hellboy with them. Some characters are not happy about the decision, but most seem eager to help Hellboy learn the ropes.
Hellboy himself is presented as an eager teenager, readily wanting to prove to the Professor that he's more than capable of being in the field. When they land in Brazil, there are ominous signs everywhere which include a prison where everyone, including the guards, were stricken with sickness. There's a priest who claims it was God's punishment, and we get to meet the Priest when the crew make it to town. All is not right with the Priest, but Mignola only gives us hints at what that possibility is.
All in all, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 is a well written introductory to a new comic. We get familiar characters with Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm, but no Abe Sapien. I really enjoyed the young Hellboy. He's more quiet and reserved than his older boastful self, but his reckless behavior perfectly demonstrates his inexperience in the field which is the premise of this new series. I would say any Hellboy fan could benefit from picking this series up. That includes those fans that have only seen the movies.