Review: HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D.: SATURN RETURNS #1 Investigates A Decades-long Murder Mystery

FIRST IMPRESSION

Mike Mignola and Scott Allie's writing evokes feelings of intrigue, fear, and betrayal-all of which are the qualities that make up the quintessential Hellboy story.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters
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With the recent revamping of Hellboy’s popularity, it only makes sense that the comic series that started it all would receive its own rebirth. Fortunately, HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D.: SATURN RETURNS #1 promises to perform more favorably than the recent Hellboy film reboot. Readers are reintroduced to the fascinating Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development as they work with the half-demon to investigate a series of occult-like murders that stretch back years in a small New Hampshire town.

Story

The opening pages of this issue take readers to Tatoskok Falls, New Hampshire, a quiet town in 1975 New England that’s recently come to the forefront after a number of murdered bodies were discovered. It is here where Hellboy and B.P.R.D. Agent Kinsley begin their investigation into the possibility of supernatural forces being involved.

Kinsley and Hellboy investigate cult symbols

It is unclear to Kinsley whether otherworldly beings would be a part of this case, especially given that the “mysterious” occult symbols local authorities called them in to investigate were actually a random combination of religious icons, including the Star of David.

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Mike Mignola and Scott Allie’s writing evokes feelings of intrigue, fear, and betrayal—all of which are the qualities that make up the quintessential Hellboy story. It sets up a intriguing mystery story that will grip readers for issues to come.

Art

Christopher Mitten’s penciling, Brennan Wagner’s coloring, and Clem Robins’ lettering are sights to behold in this intriguing issue. Mitten crafts authentic foliage to bring to mind falls in the New Hampshire countryside, yet finds a way to combine it with the horrific corpses to upend reader expectations. Wager’s warm colors for the environment and deep reds for the blood stained bodies only add to this effect.

B.P.R.D. investigating murders

To add to the unsettling aura of this issue, Robins places the letter boxes far apart throughout the issue to give readers time to take in the horror of the murder scene.

Comic cover

Mitten’s cover artwork depicts Hellboy holding an owl with a pile of skulls in the background. This gives readers an unsettling sense of the issue to come as owls are often used a symbols of occult practices.

Conclusion

HELLBOY AND THE B.P.R.D.: SATURN RETURNS #1 offers an intriguing new murder mystery for Hellboy and the team to solve. Something tells us there’s more to these murders than meets the eye, and the B.P.R.D. better be ready for it.

What are your theories as to the cause of these murders? Let us know in the comments below!

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Corey Patterson
A comic book nerd and reviewer with a special interest in the underlying themes of superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories. He enjoys writing for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Pop Culture and Theology and other publications.

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