Nothing beats the boredom of a mid week like a nice mix of scifi and horror. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 Ghost Moon #1 works hard to deliver on these elements. The story for the most party looks to catch your attention pretty quick. A rushed investigation in Hong Kong. Add a bit of supernatural mystery, and you end up with a pretty solid and used formula for a Hellboy comic. And this is what you will see with Ghost Moon.
This first issue of a two issue adventure to China is written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson. Both men know their lore, and know how to set up a pretty good Hellboy story. You have the classic mystery, monster, and bad guy all in this issue.
The one thing that had me was the pacing – it was pretty fast, even too fast. With all that happened between the trip to China and unlocking what is going on, the writing felt like it tried to put in too much plot with the smallest amount of dialog so it could fit in a single issue. Because of this I believe that both Mignola and Roberson missed some rich storytelling.
Brian Churilla is the artist for this issue, he is able to keep true to what fans would see in their mind’s eye when it comes to Hellboy. The use of detail and timing was sharp. What I mean by this is it felt that Brian Churilla was able to pick good moments to add in more details, and used other moments within the story to decrease the detail of the art. He does this to set the mood with the story as it goes along.
One page featuring Chaiman really stood out from the rest of the book.That was the most impressive piece of storytelling in this issue because it echoed how his policy which is reflected in his own body affected the masses as you see them marching in the page.
Finally, the way the grid was set up in this issue on each page made going through the book a bit clunky. I felt that a more linear approach could have worked better in guiding the eyes of the reader.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954 Ghost Moon #1 has good elements that work. But because of having two talented writers with Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, it felt like the story had a lot to offer, but was pressed for time and rushed. Because of this it took some air out of good storytelling that was in this issue. The art by Brian Churilla was a real shining star. Not only because of his ability to use artistic metaphors, but in his ability to capture Hellboy in his art. The use of detail at key points does a good job of assisting the storytelling. Though the grid used for the panels could use a bit more work.
- Good overall story
- Solid artwork that delivers on the visuals
- The story felt bloated and heavy
- Rushed pacing