REVIEW: ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House ‘ Issue #1

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Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1 published by Dark Horse Comics is written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden with Art from Shawn McManus, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Clem Robins. This issue begins in New Paltz, New York, in 1983. Hellboy approaches an ominous Victorian that is ripe with hidden horrors. Once inside, Hellboy meets Madame Zemperelli and the grandson of the haunted house’s original owner, Carter. He cannot sell his grandfather’s estate unless the curse is lifted from the property, making sense to Hellboy, but the more Hellboy learns of the house, the graver it all becomes.

During a séance aimed at reaching the dark spirits, Hellboy learns of the house’s hidden rooms of death, satanic sex dungeons where the elite held orgies atop pentagrams, and Chesbro’s self-decapitation as the furniture in the room begins flying and malicious spirits begin swirling the group. Only when the friendly spirit of Chesbro’s daughter appears do they see how to break the curse, but even she is not so positive they will survive.

Mignola and Golden have delivered pure fan service to Hellboy & B.P.R.D fans. This story was so fun and full of comical moments that were matched, if not doubled, by the horror and suspense of the series. The pacing in this story is fast, but it does not cut any corners. The team plans to deliver a full story in two issues, and judging by the structure in the first; it is going to be a grand slam. This issue serves paranormal, occult vibes with the same comedic tension of the 80’s Clue movie.

McManus’ art was a wonderful surprise and worthy of applaud. Longtime fans of Mignola’s work will recognize that it is clearly not Mignola drawing this issue, but McManus takes the Hellboy style and adds his style to it, making it new and fun. The paranormal tension in this issue is slightly diluted with the cartoonish art style, only to be doubled in strength with McManus’ ability to deliver frightening visuals. The art is truly elevated by Stewart’s colors which allows the Hellboy world to be dark yet infused with cold colors that contrast on the page and deliver ghoulish chills.

Robin’s letters are the greatest gift to this issue. The letters are incredibly animated and have their own personality. The dialogue’s rigid font is succeeded by the font of the effects that resemble the comic strips I would read growing up. The letters are also economical and placed sparsely throughout the page to not distract from the art.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1 is a must-buy for fans of the Hellboy universe. This first issue caught me like a sucker punch, completely exceeding my expectations. If you are looking to add to your Hellboy collection or check out Hellboy for the first time – this is a perfect example of why Hellboy is such a beloved comic series.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1
4.5

TL;DR

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Secret of Chesbro House #1 is a must-buy for fans of the Hellboy universe. This first issue caught me like a sucker punch, completely exceeding my expectations. If you are looking to add to your Hellboy collection or check out Hellboy for the first time – this is a perfect example of why Hellboy is such a beloved comic series.