The continued prequel series Rasputin: The Voice of the Dragon gets its third installment this week. Professor Bruttenholm–the man who took Hellboy into his care–is a spy of sorts infiltrating Nazi-occupied Paris to stop the Nazis from using the occult to take over the world. You know, no big deal…
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Rasputin’s allies pursue their own goals as Professor Bruttenholm parachutes into Nazi territory in search of ”The Master.”
Why does this matter?
Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson have written a compelling story that weaves history and supernatural elements together. It’s widely known the Nazis researched the occult to get an edge in World War II and this story exploits that information and fleshes it out. Where there really giant tentacle monsters and zombies? Probably not, but it’s a lot of fun!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue balances out interesting backstory for two characters with some monster action and Nazi killing heroics in an entertaining way. The pace of the book is quite good with no heavy exposition moments like in the last two issues to drag things down. Roberson and Mignola have got the ball rolling, and Bruttenholm is going full-on secret agent spy this issue. Not only must he parachute into Nazi-occupied France, he must also infiltrate a secret research facility and take on more monsters (he does seem to fight a monster in every issue come to think of it). Along the way, we get a backstory on a Nazi researcher who wants to raise the dead and a backstory about a supernatural expert whose Indian descent has made his superiors assume he’s made it all up.
Christopher Mitten draws another good issue. His use of texture and detail in environments helps make the story feel real and grounded. The shootout is particularly good due to the light effects and blood splatter. I also really dig how he shows sorcery with hand gestures and a few flicking lines. The monsters are also Mitten’s strong suit and he doesn’t disappoint with a group of zombies whose skin is practically liquid as it sloughs off. Ew.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is the strongest issue yet in the series as it’s done the grunt work of pulling up the exposition and getting our hero on track for the adventure. It does remain strange Rasputin is barely in this series so far–he’s more of a supporting villain in the shadows like the Great Oz–and it’s unclear what the villain’s plans are. That lowers the stakes since it’s unclear what the hero is fighting for even if we know he’s trying to stop the Nazi regime from getting supernatural power.
Is It Good?
A great issue due to its good pacing, balanced action and character backstory. If you were questioning the series so far know that issue #3 makes it a must read for fans of the supernatural.
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