Review – Hellboy & The BPRD: The Secret of Chesbro House #1
Hellboy checks into the haunted Victorian house of Peter Chesbro, haunted, at least, by the suspicious and vulgar rumours of mass orgies, secrecy and murder. With companions like the mystic Madame Zemperelli and a sceptical moneygrabbing heir to the house, it’s up to Hellboy to find out exactly what happened all those years ago and silence what goes bump in the night at Chesboro House.
While the beloved and recognisably grim and gritty art style of Mignola has been dropped, McManus brings in a fresh dose of realism and accentuated characterisation that is both beautifully grotesque and spine chillingly elegant.
Similarly, McManus & Stewart have managed to strike a balance between classic and modern horror with a hauntingly vibrant and ghastly colour palette. Like a Blumehouse production of Scooby Doo, You’ll be shocked, you’ll be terrified, you’ll be thrilled!
Where much of Hellboy’s assignments within the BPRD are based in real life mythos and folklore, this comic brings with it a rare element of pure originality in storytelling. I know this to be true because I had to Google the name Peter Chesbro to find out more about his history so to sound educated here, only to find diddily nothing. At the expense of my own humility, this just shows Mignola & Golden’s prowess for exceptional storytelling when I believe the scary story being told.
A small detail revealed in one of the characters had me excited for a new take on a classic character trope, however it seems as though they are leaning more towards said classic – if not monotonous, trope. There is unique and world changing emotional development banging on an unlocked door if they choose to let it out.
In conclusion, Hellboy & The BPRD: The Secret of Chesbro House #1 is a breath of fresh air from a classic horror story of the undead. Mignola’s new collaboration with Golden & McManus brings with it the dark detective ambience of the beloved character with tweaked notches of noir-ish realism and creativity.
My only criticism is that it’s a two part story and I want to stay here forever.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on our Review of Hellboy & The BPRD: The Secret of Chesbro House #1, your favourite comic collaborations and be sure to check out a bunch of our Hellboy reviews, starting with this!
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