The Perhapanauts: First Blood
The Perhapanauts are a motley group of monster hunters who are themselves imaginary creatures. First Blood, written by Todd Dezago and drawn by Craig Rousseau, introduces them through a fight with a murderous shape-shifter.
The Bureau of Extra-Dimensional Liabilities and Management (BEDLAM) has as its mission to investigate the creepy and paranormal. Their agents consist of a psychic, a ghost, a sasquatch, a mystery man, and Choopie, a partially evolved Chupacabras (goat-blood-sucker). When battling, their struggles reveal the team members’ makeup: psychic Arisia’s reluctant leadership, phantom Molly’s youth and inexperience, furry Big’s courage and strength, MG’s quiet intelligence, and Choopie’s exuberance and adhesive tongue.
There’s plenty of action, but applied with smarts, and they’re only able to save the day by using teamwork. Later missions send them against Karl, a Mothman teammate whose fear-causing ability goes out of control, and a legendary Filipino vampire. The book ends on a new case’s cliffhanger, hopefully whetting the reader’s appetite for more. In addition to the stories, this volume includes character profiles, two bonus flashback stories, and pinups by other artists.
Take Mike Mignola’s BPRD, lighten up on the oppressive atmosphere, add more straightforward adventure and character-based comedy, and you’ll come close to this. In a less competitive field, more readers would be paying attention to this well-done slice of imagination — the series certainly deserves it.
This volume collects the first four-issue miniseries. The book’s website has a sample issue and character profiles.