Review: B.P.R.D. The Dead Remembered #1

Published on April 11th, 2011

The more I read, the more I get into reading about the adventures of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. In this latest book, B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered, we join little Liz Sherman on what is her first mission with the B.P.R.D. in 1976. Up to this point, we have known that Liz is a  pyrokinetic who, at the age of 11, lost control of her powers and destroyed an entire city block. This accident killed thirty-two people, including her parents and brother. After the accident she became a ward of the B.P.R.D. in hopes of keeping her powers under control.

bprd_deadremeberd1The book begins with Professor Bruttenholm trying to convince Hellboy in accompanying him to Massachusetts where there’s a haunted house that could use some attention. Hellboy isn’t too interested, but he suggests that Liz go in his place. At this point she’s been at the Bureau for two years and the only person she willingly speaks to is Hellboy. The Professor eventually agrees that some outside stimulation would be good for her and decides to bring her along.

When Liz and the Professor arrive in Massachusetts, they are greeted by Father Vafides, who is more than happy to see them. The priest wastes no time and gets right to the story of the Caldwells. In the late 1600’s Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell had a history of being accused of witchcraft and eventually when they made their way to Massachusetts, they ended up being arrested for it. Mr. Caldwell died in imprisonment, but Mrs. Caldwell was killed in her home sometime later after being released. After the story is told, the ghost decides to cause some ruckus by slamming a few doors. A fireball mysteriously appears and Bruttenholm believes that part was done by Elizabeth. Liz being a grumpy teenager, decides to get some alone time and storms off.

There wasn’t a whole lot going on in this issue, but it set up what promises to be a good story. From what I’ve heard, this mini-series is supposed to give us the detailed event where Liz accidentally kills her whole family. After almost 17 years of reading Hellboy and B.P.R.D. I think it’s about time. One of the things I really like about reading the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. series is that they jump around in time. In the books, Hellboy has been an active agent since the 1950’s which gives Mike Mignola and the other writers the opportunity to do multiple stories in different times.

Another incentive to read this mini-series is the chance to see Professor Bruttenholm and Hellboy interact again. Although, I wish they would have brought Hellboy along to Massachusetts. I love the Father/Son relationship these two characters have and I’ve always wished they didn’t kill the Professor off so early in the comics.

This year is supposed to bring a lot of change to the Hellboy Universe and I think reading this and the upcoming Hellboy: Being Human will help new readers get a good understanding of the B.P.R.D. characters.

Ken Zeider