The quiet part of the USA, white fences and all, receive a visit from Hellboy and his gang following a spate of disappearing kids, pets and adults. Along with this mystery is the ongoing deepening of Susan Xiang’s psychic powers. So really it’s all pretty much as you would expect.
This prequel series offers readers a different aspect to Hellboy, or at least maybe it should. As it goes, writers Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson give us a competent Hellboy, comfortable with his lot in life and his own celebrity. The B.P.R.D is another matter, currently a collection of a quieter type of supernatural weirdness than the regular series.
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and writer Chris Roberson combine to give us a by the numbers type of story with the problems exacerbated by the grumpiness of agent Stegner. Dialogue wise, again it is pretty much as you would expect, no great shakes, with Susan’s power increase becoming more prevalent which is pretty handy considering the need of a psychic. Secondary characters come and go, used to set the somewhat obvious key’s to the story.
Paola Rivera is the artist on hand to produce a style that suits the books need. The lines are easy going in that the characters have a “Pleasantville” vibe that suits the setting of the book. Hellboy is used here to contrast that lightness artistically, with Stegner providing the vocal contrast. The art is very much like the story and the dialogue, just as you’d expect. Colors are provided by Dave Stewart who for the most part provides a slightly lighter color scheme, which fits with the overall feel of the book.
Hellboy has a legion of fans who will no doubt love this book. For me though, it just feels like just more of the same. I totally get that fans of any book like certain things, but there comes a point where this can cause have the impact of diminishing returns, especially when it comes to that ever increasingly rare beast, the new reader!
Writer: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson
Penciller: Paolo Rivera
Inker: Joe Rivera
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: David Mack