Comic Review: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Old Man Whittier one-shot (Dark Horse Comics)

In a one-shot from Dark Horse, creator Mike Mignola writes a new story featuring Hellboy! Hellboy And The BPRD: Old Man Whittier is illustrated with a carefully controlled line by […]

In a one-shot from Dark Horse, creator Mike Mignola writes a new story featuring Hellboy!

Hellboy And The BPRD: Old Man Whittier is illustrated with a carefully controlled line by Gabriel Hernández Walta, and coloured by Dave Stewart. Letters are by Clem Robins.

The setup this time is that Hellboy is checking out a Paranormal situation in the US state of Massachusetts, in 1986. So, before cell phones were well established, and when comics sold for $0.75 each, or about $2 in today’s money. But I digress.

And so does our story, digress. Hellboy and Catherine Whittier drop in to check out the old house that Catherine has inherited. It’s a ramshackle old two-story house in the middle of nowhere, with grey boards falling off, big holes in the roof, and no front door. What a welcome! Sure enough, things get spookier (what did we sign up for, after all?) with some neighbours poking their nosey little noses in…

It’s a nicely composed spooky tale, but perhaps a bit limited; a brief sojourn into the old house, the old memories, and a few frightfully gruesome complications. The elements are all there, the drawings are excellent and the muted colouring gets us further embedded in the mood. But the pacing, the exposition of the characters, and Hellboy’s steadfast demeanour combine to put the brakes on any real suspense or horror.

Still, a solid read, fun and startling in a contrite, beautifully presented issue.

Dark Horse, Hellboy and the BPRD: Old Man Whittier one shot, $3.99 in today’s money, with 22 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!