Review - B.P.R.D. 1948 #1

When you work for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development, you deal with your fair share of oddities and weirdness. While the majority of them are creature related, there are some that feature human involvement, such as in B.P.R.D. 1948 #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

The first issue of five features a story by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Max Fiumara, colors by Dave Stewart and letters by Clem Robins.

Let's go back, if you will, to 1948. Professor Trevor Bruttenholm has been asked to investigate a large, bird-like creature with tentacles wreaking havoc in the deserts of Utah. The same desert where Dr. Walt Freeman is overseeing a project that takes the energy associated with a nuclear blast and channels it as power, thanks to a breakthrough by Dr. Anna Rieu.

While Dr. Bruttenhom is jetsetting all over, Anders is finding a new routine in the confines of the B.P.R.D. HQ in Fairfield, CT. He's not exactly thrilled to be there, but there is a four-year-old hellion on hand named Hellboy who he's quickly building a friendship with.

If anyone knows how to fill out a universe, it's Mignola and Arcudi. The writing duo continues to impress by fleshing out the world Hellboy inhabits and B.P.R.D. 1948 #1 is a nice piece of B.P.R.D. history. It shows Dr. Bruttenholm at the top his game, while also showing Hellboy at the start of his. It's an issue that jumps throughout history, but does so rather effortlessly.

That's probably one of the strongest points of the book. It takes place over various points in time, but the transitions between each are done masterfully. For instance, there's one part that ends with a bright light being shined for an interview, while the next part starts with the bright light of a nuclear blast. It's transitions like those that make the story flow throughout history.

Fiumara's art is simply astounding. His characters are all depicted with sharp angles, adding a unique look to the art. Baby Hellboy is shown to be about as precocious and bold as adult Hellboy is. And the creature being investigated is a healthy mix of bird, Cthulu and general terror. It all works well.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. are such interesting characters and B.P.R.D. 1948 #1 continues that trend. Learning more about the core of the group and Hellboy as a kid is a lot of fun and the entire creative team do a phenomenal job handling the shifting eras. This is a five-issue minseries that should be a wild ride, even for B.P.R.D. standards.

B.P.R.D. 1948 #1 is in stores now.