I have had a great time reading this five-part BPRD series set, unsurprisingly, in 1947. At this time, aside from Trevor Bruttenholm and a very young Hellboy, the BPRD represents little more than an esoteric authority on the supernatural with some military support and a few hardy volunteers. Trevor relies on whatever funding and assistance he’s offered to take his fledgling organisation forward. In this instance, Trevor uses a small group of operatives in Europe who have all survived some kind of war-associated trauma, from the death fields of No-Man’s Land to being a sole shipwrecked survivor driven close to madness. These men, ravaged and hardened by war, head off into danger investigating some mysterious deaths in Eastern Europe. Faced with the unknown, each man has to overcome his own fears to get the job done – but, the supernatural forces ranked against them are considerable…
I love the art, if only because the styling varies from rich detail through to breath-taking simplicity. Sometimes a head doesn’t even need a face – seen from a distance – to convey attitude, energy and purpose. The pages brim with this richness, thick with dark colour. The story within these five comics isn’t anything too complicated, but it is solid and enjoyable, with brief trails of back story and various loose threads. I feel somewhat at a loss for words to describe the experience I’ve had reading it – but, suffice to say, I would utterly recommend it to you if you either get the chance to pick it up, or borrow it, or browse it in a shop, or maybe they’ll create a single graphic volume in the future.
It has made me want to read more BPRD; but, I know I already collect far too many comics and I’m only just recovered from the considerable financial outlay of staying on top of ‘Blackest Night‘. It may well take me a time to recover (and, for that matter, finish reading the backlog of comics before the Blackest Night finale).
BPRD Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence death fields Hellboy supernatural