The Forces of Darkness

B.P.R.D.: 1947 #5

In the conclusion of this story of the early days of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Simon Anders has been rescued from vampires and returned to the New Mexico Air Force base where the BPRD is currently headquartered. Professor Bruttenholm meets a specialist expert he’s brought in to assist — Ota Benga, an elderly former priest who specializes in exorcisms. Bruttenholm needs him to conduct a ceremony to dispel the demonic forces that have taken over Anders’ soul. Most of this issue focuses on the exorcism — played out quietly in the corporeal world but with tons of blood and thunder in the psychic realm — along with the unspoken conflict between Bruttenholm’s friendship with his old exorcist friend who rabidly hates demons and his duties to the young and innocent Hellboy.

Verdict: Thumbs up. In a lot of ways, a very quiet issue, with plenty of discussion and conversation — something that can be a bit rare in the BPRD comics. We also get an unpleasant little hint about what Simon Anders’ future may hold. And Hellboy gets to play baseball. This is the kind of stuff that makes for a good cool-down issue, and I can’t stop enjoying it.


Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #8

Hellboy has lost control of his demonic side, and he may have killed his friend Alice. Now he’s even more concerned about what’s wrong with him — for years, others have been pronouncing him the Beast of the Apocalypse, fated to bring about the end of the world — and he worries that it may be happening now. But a Russian spirit convinces him that he should stop believing what demons tell him and start believing what Alice herself believed — that he was the right person to carry Excalibur. So Hellboy draws the sword from the stone — and it turns out Alice wasn’t dead after all. So Hellboy’s the Rightful King of Britain — is that a happy ending? Well, Nimue is still out there plotting the end of mankind, and the the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra is making their own plans to end the world. So maybe it’s just a sign that things are changing, faster and faster.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another great conclusion for this series. I still don’t know if I can buy Hellboy as mystic royalty, but Mike Mignola doesn’t steer us wrong very often, and I’m willing to give him the chance to show how it makes sense.

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