One thing about HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D. is that it is new reader friendly. Yes, anyone interested in this character can pick this book up and enjoy it, even if you've never read a Hellboy book before, for the most part. Understand this though, this is not an origin of the character. This is merely the origin of Hellboy working with the B.P.R.D. As weird as this is to say, although I've been reading HELLBOY for years, I have yet to jump into a B.P.R.D. book, but this book really felt welcoming.
The story revolves around the idea that Professor Trevor Bruttenholm AKA Professor Broom doesn't want to keep Hellboy locked up in a room for the rest of his life. The B.P.R.D has another mission and Broom feels it's time to give Hellboy a chance, even though there were some problems with him in years past.
Mignola takes the time to show us how Hellboy reacts when he's introduced to this group and made a member of the team, and in this case, he's quiet. He becomes a background character throughout a lot of this opening issue, which is perfectly fine because everything else about this team and story are being laid out in front of our eyes. Mignola builds the character through dialogue and interaction in order to set the tone and team dynamic, but he really gives the reader enough to keep the intrigue there. This first issue is all about them coming together, but we all know the next one will be about something out of this world.
One of the coolest things about this opening issue is to see artist Alex Maleev on this book, with colors from Dave Stewart. As Mike Mignola said to us in a recent interview, "Dave is the glue that holds it all together," and that's incredibly true. Stewart brings a connectivity to the Hellboy universe with his colors. Even better, he's great at his job as well. What lots of folks will look forward to is Maleev's work too. It's very clean and has this pulp feel to it. He does some great work with facial expressions and painting a full scene by showing the reader some great detail within the backgrounds.
The opening issue may be a little slow for new readers. Mignola really takes the time to set the stage and introduce these characters. While the book is extremely new reader friendly, the way Mignola paces the issue may be a tad off-putting.
If you're looking for a jump on point for Hellboy or B.P.R.D., then HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D. is the perfect place for you to start reading. The issue is a ton of set-up but it's smooth and a really enjoyable read. It's great to see Maleev doing the art for a Hellboy book, and I'm pretty excited to see where this one goes. Overall, this is one of the best issues this week.