Get a peek at Hellboy's early days in 'Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952' #3
Hellboy is dead. Killed at the end of Hellboy: The Fury, Mike Mignola’s demon hero has spent the last three years plumbing the depths of the afterlife in Mignola’s sporadically-released Hellboy in Hell. But death is never the end when it comes to comic books. Even though he’s dead, there are countless Hellboy stories that remain to be told—thanks to a 50-year gap Mignola left in the character’s history between his birth in 1944 and the start of his modern-day adventures in 1994.
“It’s the greatest accident in the way I did Hellboy,” says Mignola. “The fact that I jumped over this gigantic chunk of time. So I’ve got this huge area to go back and play with for the next–it could be 20 years.”
Mignola is laying the groundwork for those next twenty years with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952, jumping back to a time before any other iconic characters like Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien were ever on the scene to explore a younger, inexperienced Hellboy that isn’t in charge of the Beaureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The miniseries, co-written by longtime collaborator John Arcudi, with art by Alex Maleev and Dave Stewart, is the chance for Mignola to revisit the character and show what it was like for him growing up, a process that he plans to depict in subsequent miniseries set in the following years.
The appeal, says Mignola, is in the opportunity to tell different types of Hellboy stories that have never been told before. Like this one he’s got planned for the upcoming Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953, which he’s just started working on:“There’s [a period of] six months he spends in England just traveling around with Professor Broom—just father and son stuff,” says Mignola. “Which we’ve never done–other than one or two pages where he’s being scolded in his early days, we’ve never seen the two of those guys out there bonding in the field.”
In exploring Hellboy’s earliest days, Mignola and his collaborators have also made a great introduction to the character for new readers. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952 gets off to a slow start, but it’s classic Hellboy: creepy, atmospheric, and strangely endearing.
Take a look at the first five pages from this week’s Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952 #3, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. The issue goes on sale in shops and digitally this Wednesday.