Rise of the Black Flame

The BPRD’s greatest foe was not always a man . . .

Little English girls are going missing, and the trail leads to a bloodthirsty cult wielding an ancient power of evil—the Cult of the Black Flame.

No villain in the history of Mike Mignola’s line of books has caused as much death and destruction as the Black Flame. See what it was like when that power belonged to a secret order of priests hidden in the jungles of Siam.

To this day a part of me always feels a little hesitant when I go into a book related to anything related to Hellboy. There’s so much background info I’m losing out on not having read anything from the core series. Even so, I broke open the trade for Rise of the Black Flame in hopes I would enjoy it regardless.

Set during the early 20th century in Siam, the growing disappearances of young girls initiates an investigation. A pair of British officers join up with two women renowned for their experience with all manner of things paranormal. Together with a German local as their guide, this team starts a journey that brings them into the web of the Cult of the Black Flame. Losing one of the officers along the way, they eventually manage to find the cult’s location, rescuing many of the kidnapped girls. Whether it be fate or chance though, the German is imbued with the power behind the cult, becoming the avatar of the Black Flame itself.

A big part of the visual component for this title was creating the world accurately at that time and place, which it seems to have done well. The art as a whole was pretty standard to these books, at least based on the little I’ve read. There were some parts in particular with some rather nice work that really popped, but even the less dramatic content was good.

With this appearing to be almost an origin story for one of the Hellboy series characters, that helped not feeling lost. Granted, if I did read it I’d probably appreciate it more getting a backstory like this. Either way, while the enjoyment levels will vary based on your knowledge, most people still should.

For more on Rise of the Black Flame or other Dark Horse books, check out Dark Horse Comics.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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