Appearing soon in the upcoming Hellboy film, Ben Daimio was first introduced to the world in the B.P.R.D. comic series, The Dead #1 (BPRD series issue #13). He stayed with the team until B.P.R.D. Killing Ground #5 (series issue #38). Here are some of Ben Daimio’s greatest moments.
I am not sure if he ever became a fan favorite, but I do know I liked his character. I also know that I don’t ever recall him teaming up with Hellboy, but I understand that movies and source materials are different entities, so I don’t mind him showing up in the new movie. After leaving the team, Daimio makes several appearances as a recurring charter. There are, of course, spoilers in this post.
Great Moments with Ben Daimio #1
The beginning is a good place to start, so that’s what we’ll do here. It is difficult to beat Daimio’s introduction to the readers and team members of B.P.R.D. We see him slice his way out of a body bag. He’s a man with a big scar on his face and a big knife in his hand. Talk about a hell of a way to make an entrance.
We don’t know anything about Benjamin Daimio at this moment, except that he just cut himself out of a body bag and seems to be just as confused as we are. As far as first impressions go, this is memorable. The panel progression of Davis’s art enhances the impact. He could have drawn the knife easily ripping through the bag, and having the bag fall away.
But, the small puncture leading to the rip, and finally the reveal is more effective. It build suspense–what is coming out of that bag?–while the addition of the POP sound effect and the doctor’s reaction gives us something to laugh at.
We soon learn that he is a consultant to special ops, and is going to be leading the B.P.R.D. To say that Liz Sherman is less than thrilled about this is an understatement. For the majority of Ben’s time with the team, he and Liz will but heads in an antagonistic relationship. Despite this, they also show respect for each other and know that it is in the team’s best interest to work together.
Ben Daimio’s Best Moments #2
His friendship with Roger. Throughout his tenure with the team, Daimio had an impact on every member, but none so great as on Roger the
Homunculus. Roger needs structure, and Daimio offers him that. There are too many great Roger and Ben moments to list them all here, but there are a few I want to look at.
The first one is when the team meets Daimio. They have just seen a video of him ripping his way out of the body bag, and then he steps into their offices and introduces himself.
I love this sequence. It shows that Daimio doesn’t want to rock the boat, but also that he is clearly in charge. Plus, he doesn’t like his squad mates to be pantsless. There’s a lot of characterization happening in these five panels, even if Daimio is still a mysterious character.
Another great moment with Daimi and Roger (their friendship was too short-lived due to Roger’s untimely demise–I told you there were spoilers in this post) is in B.P.R.D. The Black Flame #1 (series issue #18)
First we see Daimio strike a match and light a cigar.
Next, we see almost the exact same shot, only this time it is Roger who strikes the match and lights the cigar. The parallel between him and Daimio jumps out at the reader. Roger is detailing what comes next in the war against the frog monsters that are plaguing the B.P.R.D. and threatening the world at large.
These moments encapsulate the friendship between Daimio and Roger.
Daimio’s Greatest Moments #3 Secret Revelation
Another one of Ben Daimio’s greatest moments is when readers learn his secret. Mystery shrouds Daimio from the moment of his introduction, and that mystery only grows the more time we spend with him. There are hints that something dark lurks in him, though the nature of the darkness remains unknown for quite a while. He undergoes acupuncture, the purpose of which seems to be to keep him calm.
Now, he has a stressful job and is dealing with some cosmic horror shit, so of course he is going to be a little stressed. However, if it seems that there’s more going on with him, there is.
Turns out: he’s a werejaguar.
What makes this one of Ben Daimio’s greatest moments? First, the artwork and the page composition. The flames threaten to overwhelm everything in the panels. We see and feel the confusion. Beyond the flames, we see the giant monster in the background, and we don’t yet know who or what it is. Then in the bottom panel, we see the tell-tale scar of Captain Daimio, and we know who it is, even if we don’t want to believe it. We have danger and tragedy in one page, and it is awesome.
Another reason this revelation is so good is because of what it leads to. For the remainder of this issue, the werejaguar runs loose throughout the BPRD headquarters, and much violence and death ensue. It’s bloody, action packed, and exciting: everything you want from such a revelation.
The Last of Ben Daimio’s Greatest Moments
His showdown with Daryl the Wendigo. Daryl is another tragic monster, who, like Daimio, is a victim of circumstance and a shape changer. Daryl was the victim of a different Wendigo, and he now carries the curse. The only way to break the curse is killing someone else, but Daryl is a decent fellow and does not want to do that.
When he and Daimio meet in battle it is because Ben can no longer bear the burden of his curse and he wants to die at Daryl’s hands. He knows that only Daryl is strong enough to kill him, and he cannot bring himself to commit suicide.
The fight is violent and epic and takes full advantage of comics as a medium. Here’s a snapshot:
This fight is visceral and emotional. Despite the fact that both of these characters are monsters, we readers have grown attached to them. Knowing that this fight results in the death of one or both of them adds a further level of emotional involvement. In the end, Daryl wins and Daimio lies dead on the ice. It is a poignant and heartbreaking moment, especially as it is unclear of Daimio will return as a Wendigo, or if Daryl is still wandering around the icy waste, plagued by his curse.
These are some of Ben Daimio’s greatest moments. Do you have any you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.