B.P.R.D.: 1946 – 1948 – Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Joshua Dysart, Paul Azaceta, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Max Fiumara & Dave Stewart (Dark Horse Comics)

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Every story has a beginning. The B.P.R.D.’s began on a fateful, conflict stained night when fate threw a young occult expert and a creature from the beyond the veil together and set them on a path that would eventually change the lives of millions and alter the course of human destiny. But the whole world changing saga and the events leading up to it are a tale for another time, as 1946 -1948 charts the formative years of the Bureau under Trevor Bruttenholm’s, the aforementioned occult expert, stewardship and their initial triumphs and tragedies.

Originally published as three separate series (1946, 1947 and 1948), B.P.R.D: 1946 – 1948 catapults Bruttenholm into the midst of post war Berlin where he uncovers and races to prevent a Nazi plan to decimate the Allies with super-vampires then sends the Bureau’s first agents to investigate a spate of gruesome and impossible murders in Europe before finally pitting them against a horde of hitherto undiscovered monsters that are slowly, but surely, driving a top secret government space programme in the Nevada desert to the point of collapse

Drenched in the sort of two-fisted pulp adventure that was the bread and butter of the Saturday morning Chapter Plays of yesteryear, weird and wonderful monsters from other realms and dastardly Nazi and supernatural machinations, plot and plans, 1946 -1948 follows the fledgling organisations baby steps as they learn how to bump back against the things that would tear civilisation to pieces.  Authored and illustrated by a veritable who’s who of A list four colour talent, 1946 – 1948 is packed to bursting with incredibly detailed, phenomenal art, meticulous characterisation and smart and precise storytelling that focuses as much on world building as it does spinning an intriguing, involving and exciting yarn or two. Oh, and just to give you a little extra bang for your buck, Big Red is also the star of a sub-plot about the trials and tribulations of parenting and growing up in a strange, extended family that weaves its way through the pages of all three series. Who knew history could be this much fun*…? Tim Cundle

*Um, probably everybody who studied it at University. Me included.

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