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At the age of 11,
Elizabeth Anne Sherman discovered that she’s cursed with pyrokinesis. And after
accidentally leveling a city block with her uncanny power—causing the
unfortunate deaths of 32 innocent people, including her entire family—the
guilt-ridden Liz became the property of the B.P.R.D. and put under the guidance
of Professor Trevor Bruttenholm.
As Liz’s only father
figure, Professor Bruttenholm has a difficult time raising this complicated
child. Full of teen angst and rebelliousness, Liz refuses to take her
prescribed medications and sneaks out of her room from time to time. Although
he’s concerned for her well-being, Bruttenholm understands that Liz doesn’t
need to go on ghost-hunting trips with him. She actually needs normal human
interaction, which he’s unable to give her.
Meanwhile, an angry ghost
haunts an innocent family. This spirit inhabits the woods and is waiting to
plot the next step in her revenge, seeking vengeance for her death during the
witch trials. Now, using Liz as her puppet, the witch specter is able to
manipulate Liz’s fire powers to cause even more destruction.
Comparisons to BUFFY THE
VAMPIRE SLAYER are inevitable, but this story is an interesting coming-of-age
tale from authors Mike Mignola and Scott Allie. Even though she’s a freak, Liz
attempts to find her place in the world and seeks acceptance from others. And
although Bruttenholm is trying his best to raise Liz like his daughter and
protect her from the horrors of the outside world, in the end, the professor
can’t always be there for her.
The cartoonish artwork by
Karl Moline (FRAY) is spectacularly suited for the emotional story arc, and the
facial expressions from Liz and Bruttenholm match so well that they give extra
meaning to their dialogue balloons. The issue’s highlight is the transition
between the witch’s attack and her persecution during the witch hunt, which
parallels Liz’s experience.
While exploring its own
mythology in the HELLBOY universe, B.P.R.D. #3 succeeds in building Liz Sherman’s
backstory. This flashback episode explores Hellboy’s fiery friend as she fights
against both external and internal demons. You are absolutely going to enjoy
reading Liz’s path of self-discovery as she goes from teenage prisoner to
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