Calum Petrie reviews Hellboy and the B.P.R.D 1957: Family Ties…
In this latest issue of Hellboy, Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson take us back to the 1950’s American suburbs of Ohio. The issue is a stand alone adventure and certainly packs a cocktail of story and artwork while delivering a wonderful amount of emotion around a difficult topic.
The story opens with Susan Xiang and Hellboy canvasing the streets of Dayton, Ohio in search of an occult book that was in local circulation. The pair are opening up to one another and discussing the topic of family.
This issue has pitch perfect pacing, was my initial thought upon finishing this story. To make this tale longer would water down the story into a bland soup, while any quicker would have rushed the story and left for an unsatisfying tale.
The delivery of the family situation and dealing with a loved one who has overstayed their welcome could be an extremely daunting and uncomfortable situation. Though this story makes it a Hellboy-sized issue with the loved one possessed by a demon and causing havoc within the house. The youthful looking Big Red takes to the situation with a calm and level head, before action comes looking for him.
Family Ties is one of these enjoyable check in stories that the Hellboy franchise seems to be really good at doing: delivering a beautifully written one-shot comic and then delving back into the minds of the creators till another wonderfully horrible situation for Hellboy is thought up next.
The artwork in this issue is certainly a beauty to behold, while once again varying from the old blocky and exaggerated Hellboy of old, we are met with a youthful and not fully filled out demon that we know and love. The colours in the issue also do wonders to set atmosphere and drive home the tone of the story.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D 1957: Family Ties is an incredibly enjoyable story that I’ve been happy to read over a couple of times already in a single sitting.
Rating – 7/10
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