The “Hellboy” universe is one of the biggest universes in comic books. The release of the first issue of “The British Paranormal Society: Time Out of Mind” by Chris Roberson and artists Andrea Mutti and Lee Loughridge has expanded this universe with a familiar plotline.
In the small British village of Noxton, Simon Bruttenholm and Honora Grant are looking for Lowell Girard who went to the village to study these famous called the “Standing Stones.” Instead of answers they get a lot more questions and a town that’s getting ready for the weirdest May Day celebration that Grant has ever seen.
It’s the “village with a dark secret” plot. Since this comic takes place in the “Hellboy” universe of course there’s going to be tons of weird stuff going on. The setup is more than enough for any reader to figure out that there is something big going on in the town and that Bruttenholm and Grant are in for a fight. The big reveal is what makes or breaks these kinds of stories. This big reveal may be something worth continuing with the story or it’s something that “Hot Fuzz” has made fun of. It’s easy to make assumptions as to what the mystery is after reading the first issue but anything can be a red herring.
The artwork does a fantastic job of creating atmosphere. The way the village is designed, combined with the washed out look of the colors, gives the reader the sense that there is something wrong with this village. If you’re going to do this type of story may as well make it look as creepy and uncomfortable as possible.
“The British Paranormal Society: Time Out of Mind #1” takes a familiar plot and thrusts it into the “Hellboy” universe with creepy, atmospheric art to go with it. The next issues could improve on the story but for now it’s OK.