Review: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1955 Secret Nature

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1955 Secret NatureA missing group of teens in Oregon’s backwoods leads Hellboy to confront a cryptozoological horror with origins similar to his own! Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1955 Secret Nature is the latest addition to the Hellboy world with an entertaining one-shot that explores more than demons.

Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy universe is consistently one of the most entertaining out there. Spanning decades the story flows and recently with the addition of the “1955” series of stories it’s been able to explore actual decades going back to the beginning of the red hero.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1955 Secret Nature is an interesting story in that at first it seems like a normal Hellboy story exploring the unknown. Quickly the reader is presented with a lot more. Playing off the time period, writers Mignola and Chris Roberson explore more than demons but also the racism of the time.

The story does a decent job at discussing appearances. Hellboy and his partner leads each to reflect on how they’re viewed. It’s a fantastic premise and plays into the Hellboy history well. That premise is touched upon a lot but there’s never really that deep discussion about it all. It’s mostly surface with some lines here and there and while I was entertained reading the issue I’d have loved to have seen deeper discussion. This is a nice start and teases what could be an amazingly touching issue.

What’s really solid is the addition of Shawn Martinbrough on art bringing his style to the series and myth. It’s different than the normal fairly standard style we’ve seen through series and hopefully we can see more experiementation when it comes to the look of Hellboy related comics. At this point we’ve seen it in the stories, I’d love to see it in the visuals.

The one-shot is a good one that can be picked up and enjoyed by anyone no matter your history with the Hellboy world. Ultimately it winds up being fairly standard when it comes to fighting demons. By and large it stands out for its discussion of race. This story too has implications in the greater narrative that long time fans will appreciate.

In any case even with that, those like me who are casual fans can enjoy the one-shot and appreciate what’s on the page. A fun read that has me wanting more one-shots like it.

Story: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson Art: Shawn Martinbrough
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review