B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Russia #1 of 5
Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by Tyler Crook
Letters by Clem Robins
Covers by Dave Johnson
Dark Horse Comics
Release date: September 21, 2011
I’ve read plenty of Hellboy stories before, but no actual B.P.R.D. comics before, so I was excited to dive into the B.P.R.D. part of the Hellboy universe, which is exactly what I have done with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Russia #1 (of 5). I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story or would get lost within it. The main reason I haven’t read any B.P.R.D. before is that even though I knew where to start, I was intimidated by the amount of stories that are out there. As it turns out, I didn’t have worry.
The most impressive thing about this issue was the accessibility of it. I was aware of a lot of the cast, whether from the Hellboy comics I have read, or from the movies or from just hearing about the characters from other comics fans. The recap page did a great job of catching me up to speed, and the story just took off from there and explained anything else I needed to know.
The actual story written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi intrigued me from the start, with a creepy opening, an exciting middle section, and what I am assuming is a good cliffhanger (this bit probably would have hit harder if I have read more of the series in the past). In a few short pages, I was introduced to the world and interested enough to pick up the rest of the series.
Artist Tyler Crook came to my attention just last month when he did fill-in for an issue of Oni’s The Sixth Gun. He has a nice rounded, cartoony style that captures all of the emotions of the characters, even if they are only a glass head with a ghost inside. He captures the horror of the situation perfectly and tells the story well. Crook may not be the most well-known artist at this point, but he has a bright future ahead of him.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never read an issue of B.P.R.D. or if you’ve been reading the series from the beginning, this is an issue for you. This one is getting a 5 out of 5. It has great art, a great story, and is the perfect jumping-on point. There’s a reason people love this series and this is an excellent place to start. Don’t be like me, waiting for the right time to start reading. The time is now.