Not very many comic books leave out their most recognizable characters for all but one page, but B.P.R.D. is not your average book. In the new mini-series Gods readers are introduced to a new character, a young woman named Fenix who has the ability to sense the future and avoid danger. According to the Mignola-verse and Dark Horse hype, Fenix is set to become a major player in the Hellboy world. In this issue, we mostly get an idea of how she’s gotten to this point–she’s traveled in train freight cars out of the now devastated state of Texas accompanied by a growing entourage all seeking safety and freedom. Her group truly believes her to be someone special and the B.P.R.D. agrees. They would like to meet her as well.
The strength of this issue comes from a combination of strong character work (from characters we’ve never met) and tying together loose story threads introduced in the last B.P.R.D. mini-series. We saw in previous issues that Texas has had some weird stuff happening, i.e. a volcano popping up in Houston and burning the city down. Still without placing the story in the middle of the action at these Texas disasters, the writers still convey the survivors’ horror.
The Mignola-verse seems to thrive in creating characters that are not necessarily model citizens that still want to do what’s right (most of the time, at least). My favorite character from this issue was a man named Willis, a no-nonsense drifter who will do what he must in order to survive. As rough around the edges as he is, he still seeks to take care of the others in the entourage. He may have no real respect for the law, but he cares for his fellow man.
While it goes without saying that the art team of Guy Davis and Dave Stewart turned in fantastic work, this issue brought a different feel than I’ve seen recently. Since there were several character moments, the color palette was much more mellow colors with light blue and purples indicating the glow at the end of daylight. It’s a nice contrast to the heavier colors from the last few issues.
Gods is a three issue mini and it will be nice to have a completed story in only a few months this time around. You can pick this issue up without having read anything else and you’ll be able to follow all of the necessary story elements. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.