Liz Sherman, Hellboy Firestarter

Mike Mignola’s paranormal mystery Hellboy is one of the finest comics franchises of all time, and its sidekick spin-off Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is no slouch either. Ask Guillermo del Toro, who mined Hellboy for two astoundingly dark but fun films. But its sidekick roster is moving closer to the spotlight in a new series focusing on tragic flame-thrower Liz Sherman. I probed her post-traumatic pysche for Wired, with help from B.P.R.D. and Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-writer Scott Allie.

B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered Explores Hellboy’s Fiery Friend, Liz Sherman

Upcoming comic book miniseries B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered digs into the traumatic teen years of Hellboy’s pyrokinetic pal, Liz Sherman.

Written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Comics writer and editor Scott Allie, the three-issue story arc lands April 6, 2011. But will it ignite, given that Liz is no superhero?

“We need more female superheroes, but I don’t think of Liz as one,” Allie told in an e-mail interview. “This is a horror story, with Liz at a very early stage in her career, trying to control her powers.”

With Karl Moline on pencils, Andy Owens on inks and Dave Stewart on colors, B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered winds back the clock on the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense’s female fire-starter to three years after the 14-year-old Liz accidentally burned her family alive.

Judging by our first look at Moline and Jo Chen’s covers (above and below), Hellboy appears to help Liz, the young B.P.R.D. ward, sort out more than a few internal and external demons and ghosts. The miniseries also works out Liz’s fragmentary timeline as she goes from B.P.R.D. prisoner to active agent, and explores her spirituality — something Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics always scrutinize.

“We wanted to look at the earliest point in her evolution, and how religion played into it,” Allie said.