The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense debuted in Hellboy: Seed of Destruction as Big Red’s backup, employers and surrogate family, but the BPRD really came into its own after Hellboy left the team.
The team, which dedicated to saving the world from the forces of evil, has been featured in more than half a dozen miniseries from publisher Dark Horse Comics, facing down everything from demon frogs to wild wendigos, and the fun continues with this summer’s new miniseries, the ominously titled "The Warning." Comic Book Resources had a chance to speak to series co-writer John Arcudi about "The Warning" and the future and past of the BPRD.
As the title implies, "The Warning" is just the first part in a much bigger tale for the BPRD.
"It's the first series in three, so it's kind of the "Warning" shot in the war to come. Â The first battle, really, but still, it gets MUCH bigger in the next two series. Â So as big as the action is in the "Warning" it's just a taste of things to come," said Arcudi. "We're going to learn more about Liz’s mysterious visitor. Â A lot more. Â Unfortunately, so will Liz. Â And the BPRD heads to Europe to hunt down a lost member of the group, only to run into a much bigger problem. We'll have monsters, and robots, and destruction, and explosions. Oh, and lots of interpersonal stuff, but monsters, robots, destruction, and explosions in addition to that. Â Can't tell you more without ruining it for everyone."
There are big changes in store for the BPRD through the course of next few miniseries, ones that will affect the book for years to come. Changes that go above and beyond the usual "big event today, forgotten tomorrow" type of hype that many readers have come to expect from comics.
"These three series will completely change the way the BPRD functions. Â In fact, it will completely change the BPRD universe. Â You see that kind of hype in comics all the time, but trust me; readers are not going to believe what we do in this story," said Arcudi. "By the end of the third arc, they'll see we mean business when we say anything can happen in the BPRD books. Â Things actually do change in the BPRD. Â It's fun to write, lemme tell ya'."
The BPRD has existed for around six decades in the Hellboy universe, leaving Arcudi and company lots of times and place to explore, a fact that they are going to be taking advantage of in "The Warning" and the minis that will follow it.
"In fact, you'll see more than just the 60 years of the BPRD's life. Â We're exploring the whole Hellboy universe and the people, and themes that lead up to the need for a BPRD in the first place. Â The current story line, in fact, has its roots in prehistory, as has been hinted at several times before in the BPRD books and Hellboy," Arcudi explained.
Arcudi has worked directly with Mike Mignola, creator of the BPRD and Hellboy, for several years, their flexible working relationship allowing them to keep the BPRD universe moving forward.
"You couldn't call it an evolution. It's different for every series, as it has been from the start. Â The last couple of series have been plotted mostly by me with input by Mike, but "The Warning" is a definite collaboration. Â Mike provided the direction, and then I had to come up with the destination, if that makes sense," Arcudi said.Â "The next two series have already been loosely plotted by Mike, but more completely (in some ways) than he did on "The Warning." Â Which is to say, the destinations are there. Â See? Â It just changes so much, it's hard to chart a course of the working dynamic we have, or even talk about it coherently."
This summer will also see the release of "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," a sequel to the hit 2004 adaptation, which Arcudi hopes will affect the series in one notable way.
"With any luck, it'll help them sell better!"
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