Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Beyond the Fences #3 Writers: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson Pencils: Paolo Rivera Colors: Dave Stewart Letters: Clem Robins Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Beyond the Fences #3 is the final issue in this 3 part mouthful of a title mini-series.
Previously, Hellboy and his team of B.P.R.D. agents Sue and Stegner went to a quaint 1950’s suburb to investigate a recent string of disappearances. After questioning the townsfolk, the gang along with the company of the local police headed into the woods in search of something paranormal at play. What they received was a giant, hairless doglike creature that wiped out an abundance of the cops. The last issue left off with the beast heading back towards the town and surprise surprise, school is just getting out and all the kids are walking home.
The opening page plays out as a very tense and suspenseful scene as you know it’s only a matter of time before the children are attacked. Fortunately it’s not a slow burn and it turns into an uneasiness worry that one of the kids might be eaten. Hellboy does comes to the rescue of course and he battles the paranormal creature in this quiet “Leave it to Beaver” like suburb.
Writers Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson do a nice job of supplying just enough dialogue to get your moneys worth but not slow down the pacing of the action. Allowing the art team’s talent to really shine. While the battle is visual pleasing, the overall conclusion to this mini-series feels as a bit of a let down. The story arc started off on a very strong note, the middle felt like filler, and the finally was an improvement from the 2nd act but didn’t live up to the beginnings potential.
I was hoping to get more of Hellboy interacting with the locals, particularly the children, or with the Sue and Stegner to get more insight into the character. However the first half is pretty much all action and the second half is all epilogue to set up and drop hints for the next mini-series.
As said before, the art team of Paolo Rivera’s and Dave Stewart’s work really shines in this issue. Using the setting of the pleasant suburbs of the 1950’s is an inspiring choice for a character like Hellboy. The mundane environment and daytime sunlight makes the fantastical and supernatural stand out all the more. The colors really complement the line work and draw the attention to the foreground with its vibrant hews.
The 3rd and final installment to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Beyond something, something, something, is a decent closing to this mini-series. The overall issue is well paced and the action scenes are full of excitement. However the lack of character interactions for Hellboy and expository set ups really take away from the later half’s quality. Had the opening issue not of been as strong my expectations might have not of been so high. Fortunately though the visuals are fantastic and the detailed characters and pleasant backdrops are a treat for the eyes.
Score: 3 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach