It’s been a while, and you’ve already heard me say plenty about the Hellboy Universe, but I’m back with a new installment of Comics I Read, and a review of B.P.R.D. 1946

 

So I don’t buy trades very often (maybe 1 a month) but lately I’ve been buying them a little more regularly and almost exclusively B.P.R.D. I can’t stop. Each volume is building up to something and yet stands on its own as an awesome piece of Hellboy lore. Volume 9 is a little different, and makes Mike Mignola’s Hellboy/B.P.R.D. epic even stronger.

B.P.R.D. 1946 by Mike Mignola, Joshua Dysart (writers) and Paul Azaceta (art) is a prequel book. A prequel to the majority of the stories we’ve seen Hellboy in, a prequel to the B.P.R.D. we saw in Seed of Destruction. But what I loved most? Finally seeing Professor Bruttenholm (pronounced ‘Broom’) as a young man, knee deep in the scurry with the Russians in post-war Berlin to acquire the occult treasures amassed by Hitler. If this wasn’t a comic about monsters and vampires, you’d swear you were reading a historical comic. Professor Bruttenholm, along with one lone colleague, teams up with a unit of soldiers still waiting to go home (I could read a whole comic series about a 1940s team of soldiers dealing with Hitler’s reckless occult desires.) 

The concepts in this collection are the typical Mignola fare. Vampires, Nazi super-science and more. Bruttenholm discovers a sort of ally in his Russian counterpart, a little girl who is anything but a little girl and stumbles upon a plot involving elements that will rear their heads in other Hellboy and B.P.R.D. stories. As a guy who loves expanded universes, this is like pure butter.

 

 

Professor Bruttenholm is ever bit the Mignola hero we’ve seen in Hellboy, Lobster Johnson and Witchfinder. And seeing as how he’s a character who died in Hellboy’s first comic, I’m excited to see more of his adventures in our secret occult history. The next volume of B.P.R.D. will likely bring us back to the modern era, but I’ll be waiting for a return to the character who fathered their current battle against the enemies of our world.

Like all the Hellboy books, I of course, recommend this book. However, if you’re not prepared to immerse yourself into this universe and enjoy the unfolding history, you might want to stick to one-off comics. I warn you, because you will be sucked in.

A+.