Fan-Favorite B.P.R.D. Weirdo Gets an Origin in ‘The Transformation of J.H. O’Donnell’ [Preview]
On sale now from Dark Horse is B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Transformation of J.H. O’Donnell, a special one-shot issue co-written by Mike Mignola and his longtime editor Scott Allie and featuring the excellent artwork of Max Fiumara (Four Eyes, Spider-Island: I Love New York City). This book reveals at last the origin of one of the most eccentric and enigmatic supporting characters from Mignola’s Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, the titular J.H. O’Donnell, who we learn was taken on a vampire mission with Hellboy 24 years ago, a mission from which the cracked out occult specialist would never fully recover.There’s a good tradition of strong one-shots and short stories in the Mignola-verse, and I have a good feeling The Transformation of J.H. O’Donnell will rank among them. O’Donnell is an always entertaining supporting character whose appearances build and build until you’re dying to know what the deal is with this weird dude (a frequent and effective Mignola trick). The one-shots also help break up the ever increasingly tense and dire circumstances going on in the rest of the B.P.R.D. line, which if you’ve been reading ComicsAlliance you know has been pretty stellar for the last few years. Indeed, this new one-shot is just the latest of an ambitious rollout of B.P.R.D. projects in 2012, including the recently released B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine by Mignola & John Arcudi and Tyler Crook and the forthcoming B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Exorcism by Mignola and Cameron Stewart and B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Return of the Master by Arcudi and Crook.
But what I like most about this book is the art by Max Fiumara and colorist Dave Stewart. Fiumara’s work first caught my attention with the 2008 Image Comics miniseries Four Eyes, a Joe Kelly-written comic about a young boy and an underground dragon-fighting culture. Obviously, that kind of urban supernatural material prepped Fiumara for this B.P.R.D. project, which I think looks great. Fiumara has a delightfully weird figure style that’s distinct but still fits in with the long-established aesthetic of the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics, as I think you’ll agree when you check out the preview pages below.