The tale of Hellboy’s first mission with the B.P.R.D. continues as Mignola, Arcudi, Maleev and Stewart tell a tale that goes back to Hellboy’s roots…and is filled with a heavy dose of mystery.
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are weaving a tale that feels like “classic Hellboy” with this one, with an evil demon terrorizing a town and Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. dispatched to get some info about it. This is Hellboy’s first mission and some of his trademark “dive in head first” isn’t quite there, and the writers are doing a great job of making Hellboy a bit more timid than readers are used to. He’s not the experienced agent he becomes, by any means, and this is a fun thing for long time readers to experience. The dialogue is strong and with the upswing in action in this issue, the story flows really nicely. The plot isn’t overly complex (yet) but there is more than enough here to keep me intrigued and coming back for more.
Alex Maleev’s artwork is a huge part of the “classic Hellboy” feel, as his style evokes Mignola’s take on Hellboy very well. Maleev is not copying Mignola by any means, but his style is the perfect fit for a story like this and he throws down some awesome work in this issue. The supernatural elements of the issue are engrossing on the page and Maleev handles the action scenes well. His use of shadow and darkness gives the issue an eerie feeling that fits this story perfectly and he handles the “big man” well. Mignola penciling Hellboy is something that may never be topped, but Maleev penciling Hellboy comes damn close, I will admit.
The colour work by Dave Stewart takes Alex Maleev’s artwork to the next level and brings a lot of impact to the imagery. Hellboy leaps from the page, his use of the red among the shadows and darkness makes the images pop and the title character steals each page due to this strong colour work.
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #2 is a strong early-arc issue that Hellboy fans will enjoy immensely. The look and feel is unmistakably “Hellboy” and Maleev and Stewart deliver rock-solid artwork that is pitch perfect for the script from Mignola and Arcudi. This is an eerie mystery that is just firing up, and I’m happy that I’m along for the ride.
The Verdict: 8.5/10