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In this flash back tale we’re introduced to a young
Elizabeth that’s taken out into the field for the first time. They’re
investigating a haunting from a dead "suspected witch" that's tormenting a priest. It takes
some strong convincing from Hellboy before the Professor will agree to take her
and even then he has to pull at his heart strings to get him to take her.
Elizabeth is actually less than thrilled to go on the trip and even less
thrilled that she’s being taken to see a priest.
After some more convincing on Hellboy’s part Elizabeth is ready to go. Once they arrive at the priest’s house they settle in for a brief moment before Elizabeth rudely asks the priest to cut to the chase. He tells them the story of a woman that was accused of witch craft in the old country and then again when she moved to America. She was pardoned, but the towns’ people didn’t care and killed her any ways. As the priest continues his story the “ghost” acts out by slamming the front door and shooting a fireball out of the fireplace, but the fireball could be from Elizabeth. She leaves the house angry and heads out into the woods where she meets a boy and the ghost first hand.
I am definitely not the most familiar with the world of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. so I can’t really say where this takes place in their time line. I assume it’s a flash back due to Elizabeth’s age, but I could be mistaken. I will say that that is the only fault of this issue as the rest of it is not only well written, but carefully crafted as well. Mike Mignola and Scott Allie have the perfect pacing for the issue which makes the flow of reading non-stop. It’s really hard to put the book down once you start.
The art is very good with a style that is reminiscent of Mignola’s, but with a flair all its own. What I really enjoy about the artists that work on Hellboy, B.P.R.D. and other series tied into the universe is that there’s a consistency to the art. Each artist brings their own style, but ultimately it looks familiar. Karl Moline is no exception to that rule as he captures the world of B.P.R.D. and its supporting characters.
This is a great first issue and perfect for new readers to the series like me. I wasn’t lost as to the characters history or what they could do, because it was introduced to me in an interesting way. I actually picked up this issue from Dark Horse Digital for 99 cents and was very pleased with the quality of it and surprised by how recent the title was. The second issue just came out and here Dark Horse is supporting it with a cheap introductory price for the first issue to get people caught up; a very nice business model to accompany a solid first issue.
Overall Score – 8.7/10
*Great for New Hellboy Readers*