Mike Mignola skipped a huge chunk of Hellboy’s life when he first introduced his signature character in 1994. The 50 years following Hellboy’s arrival on Earth have gone largely untouched by Mignola and his collaborators on Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and assorted spin-offs, but the demon hero’s past finally gets the spotlight in December’s Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #1, a new series by Mignola, B.P.R.D. writer John Arcudi, and the acclaimed art team of Alex Maleev and Dave Stewart.

Building on Arcudi’s work in various B.P.R.D. flashback miniseries, Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. jumps forward a few years to show Hellboy’s first days working for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense in 1952. “What really led to this book was that we did the B.P.R.D. 1946, 1947 and 1948 books, and we started to see baby Hellboy growing up and interacting with these agents,” Mignola told Comic Book Resources in a July interview. “It just seemed like such a perfect next step to jump up a couple of years with an older Hellboy—though still young and inexperienced—with these guys who a couple of years earlier were the cool kids or the big kids to him.”

This preview of Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.’s first issue (on stands December 3) focuses on Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Hellboy’s human father figure. However, the big red guy’s appearance has intense impact thanks to Maleev and Stewart’s striking artwork. Mignola and Arcudi have a reliable track record working together, but the main attraction for this title is the art team. Maleev previously tackled Hellboy in a short story for the Hellboy: Weird Tales anthology, and re-teaming him with his Daredevil collaborator Stewart has garnered exceptional results in these five preview pages.

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