This is the kind of opening sequence I read B.P.R.D. books for. I mentioned in my Bayou review that Gabriel Bá does some of the most playfully terrifying work in these books that I’ve ever scene, and B.P.R.D.: 1947 #3 is a perfect example of those skills at work.
One of the really successful visual strategies I appreciated from this chapter were the elemental scene shifts going from fire to wind to water. Mignola, Dysart, and Bá set those up very effectively, and it’s a real testament to the many layers they built this series with.
The villains, meanwhile, still feel a bit flimsy for me as characters. The anecdotal details that pop out in conversation are interesting, but there’s a considerable amount of pressure on the fourth issue for me as a reader to really sell these witches. I’m a casual Hellboy universe reader and don’t have a whole lot of background knowledge about who they are prior to reading 1947, so I expect big things to come up as things play out.
I was half expecting this to be the series that brought Konig back into the limelight and turned him into a major villain, but without spoiling anything directly, that doesn’t seem like a possibility now. The historical explanation of the old B.P.R.D. guard was just as a brutal and horrific as I expected, but now the spotlight seems to have shifted to Hecate, so I’m anticipating a big coming out party for her in issue #4.