B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth – Gods #1
For a long time I’ve wanted to delve into the world of Hellboy. Ever since Del Toro’s first film adaptation I’ve been dying to force myself to go out and pick up a few trades and get into the lauded series. This issue here marks my first foray into the Hellboy-world, and it’s a good one. Mignola’s universe is the perfect blend of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and clandestine organization. Having seen the first film (but not the second), and having explored wiki about Hellboy, I’m familiar with the premise, organization, and a handful of the main characters and history. What I lack is the knowledge of key moments in those histories by story-arc, and since the Hellboy-U is essentially a decade old I figured this would be something I’d need to catch up on. It is, but it wasn’t needed for this issue.
Opening around a group of train-hopping drifters, the issue begins by showcasing that one of these drifters, Fenix, has psychic powers. She managed to keep the group safe from a cataclysmic “other-worldly” event a few times, so has obtained a league of followers and quasi-worshipers, as it were.
Guy Davis’ art is a style that one either likes or doesn’t. I happen to like it. It fits well with a sci-fi/fantasy setting. It’s loose, but not sluggish; makes monsters seem imposing and shadowy, without being sloth-like and farcical.
The plot is driven when dissent develops among the followers of Fenix, some feeling that her psychic powers can’t be trusted unequivocally, so there is a moderate split in the group. The tension built by Mignola around the possible impending doom of these drifters is wonderful, and keeps the reader enticed. No familiar faces show up (spoiler alert) until the very last page, and all you need to do is take a look at the cover to see who it is.
This was a great comic, and I would say that if you’re comfortable with the Hellboy universe and have even a very basic knowledge of what it’s all about, then this is a stellar comic for jumping onboard.