Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 Beyond the Fences #2 Writer: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson Pencils: Paolo Rivera Colors: Dave Stewart Letters: Clem Robins Publisher: Dark Horse
After numerous disappearances of children in a quiet American suburb Hellboy and his team are sent in to investigate. After some questioning of witnesses and solid character moments the gang come across a beastly creature that they believe is the culprit. However there was some well placed sub plots put in place to leave a doubt in the readers head as to whether or not the varmint is indeed responsible. This issue picks up where this solidly set up first issue left off.
The highlight of this book by far are the action scenes. Writers Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson provide us with just enough dialogue to inform the reader but not slow down the pacing of the fight.
As in the my review of the previous issue, the characterization of Hellboy is on point and I really enjoyed when the story was centered on him. The problem is that this second installment is really nothing more than a transition issue to get us from the opening act to the closing act of a 3 part mini-series. We don’t really even get anything in terms of character interactions between our three B.P.R.D. agents. It’s more about them having a quick team up with local law enforcement and you know that all these new characters are demon chow.
The second act of a three part structured story should be used to learn about the characters. Flesh them out more and develop them by having them interact with one another. If you do this it’ll make your audience all that much more invested in the characters in the climatic third act. Unfortunately this issue really cease in delivering this.
Fortunately with all the failures in the writing department we do receive some visually pleasing art. Paolo Rivera’s pencils are still solid here and we get a pretty awesome looking Hellboy. Along with colors by Dave Stewart they are able to give off the perfect vibe for which the setting calls for. The small suburban town has its wide eyed innocence sensibility and the forrest still has a dark and cold feel to it in the opening pages.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953 Beyond the Fences #2 is a disappointing follow up to well set up first issue. You’ll need the material in here to probably understand what happens in the mini-series final act but there is nothing in here in terms of character growth or interactions. You just see Hellboy and the gang meet up with some local police that you know are all mincemeat. Fortunately we do get some pleasurable visuals but that’s not enough to save this book.
Score: 2 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach