REVIEW: ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, art by Shawn McManus, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Clem Robins. With the Chesbro House seemingly coming alive, Hellboy and company have their hands full with the curse they are looking to break. And that’s before the ever-present folly of man that is greed comes around to bite them.

Hellboy has long been one of the glaring omissions in my comic book reading. With no experience with the character outside the movies, the Ron Pearlman ones, not the other one, getting to jump into Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House was a daunting moment. How well would I manage with so little experience with this multi-decades-old character? Will I spend the entire issue lost? Happily, This quick two-parter provided a fun, entertaining story that required no prior reading to enjoy. And Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 delivers an enjoyable wrap-up to this tight, fast-moving story.

I think the best aspect of this book is how it balances the various narrative elements within its story. The humor, action, and horror all blend seamlessly, in a way that builds each other up instead of detracting from each other. Hellboy’s offhand remarks feel more like stress reactions that come as a defense mechanism for the character than a belittlement of the severity of the situation. So, strangely, The book’s humor works to make the story’s peril feel greater instead of lessened.

While Hellboy’s larger-than-life personality certainly has the spotlight throughout Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2, the other characters that fill the pages of this book are written well as they each serve their particular purposes within the story. It’s hard to say too much without going into spoilers, but Mignola and Golden clearly know their horror and what parts need to be played in a good haunting storyline. Even if the roles are predictable, they work wonderfully and move the story along smoothly.

The art in Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 does a great job of delivering the story’s blend of action, humor, and horror surprisingly well. Artist McManus does a great job bringing Hellboy to life, despite how closely the character’s look is attached to Mignola’s iconic style. McManus manages to deliver something different but still feels closely connected to the version of the character that always leaps to the mind’s eye when you think of him.

Combining with McManus’s strong line work is Stewart’s colors. The color work here does a great job of bringing the supernatural components of the story to life. This, along with some strong lighting work, helps keep the book’s balance between light adventure and horror tale where it needs to be.

The last component of the book’s presentation is Robins’s letters. The fonts and scale of the dialogue and various sound effects throughout the book deliver the energy and the story in a way that enhances the reader’s experience nicely.

When all is said and done, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 delivers a solid story that blends several different storytelling elements into an enjoyable horror adventure that should please anyone that decides to indulge in this book.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #2 delivers a solid story that blends several different storytelling elements into an enjoyable horror adventure that should please anyone that decides to indulge in this book.