Title: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956
Author: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson
Illustrators: Mike Norton, Yishan Li, Michael Avon Oeming, Dave Stewart, Paul Grist
Series: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #5
This volume is basically a prequel to the main B.P.R.D. storyline, which most people end up reading first. The focus of this volume is one the expansion of the B.R.P.D. personnel, Professor Bruttenhom’s personal investigation of military activities, the introduction of the Colorado base, and Varvara’s capture.
While Hellboy is featured on this cover, he plays a very small part in this volume because he has gone AWOL and is drinking in Mexico. We do get some short scenes with his drunken months in Mexico where we see him be a luchador, an actor, but mostly just the start of his alcoholism. This volume definitely shows the start of his mental health issues and lack of support he feels with his family and the B.P.R.D..
For the artwork, I didn’t really love the style for Varvara and her storylines. Something about that style didn’t really work for me with her character, I think it is because I am used to the more detailed version of her in previous stories, and I liked that better.
Overall, this was a good prequel but also a bit disappointing at the lack of Hellboy storyline, especially since he is so prominent on the cover.
Trigger warnings: death of a pet briefly mentioned at the beginning, alcoholism, death
Previous books and reviews for the series: