Wowza. John Arcudi and Mike Mignola aren't playing around. This TPB is packed with action and it is tremendous. I never would have guessed that Abe Sapien would turn into the number 1 ass-kicker for the BPRD, but I'm thrilled to see it. When Liz is kidnapped/lured away by the mysterious Gilfryd, Abe, Johann, and Kate are just about the only headliners left in the book. We do get a bit more from the bookish Devon, and I do like him, but we need some more named members of the BPRD to root for, I think. We are introduced to Bruno, a German cop who at least for the moment is bonding with Kate, and I'd love to see him join the cast permanently. While it is great seeing actual competence from the face-masked BPRD agents, I'd like to see another named lead to replace all those we've lost. In fact, Abe brings up the point perfectly in a closing cheers to Hellboy "To Hellboy. Where is he when you need him?" It's pitch-perfect. I can only hope that Hellboy will eventually make a triumphant return to help his adopted family soon.
There is a lot going on that the BPRD needs help with. The frogs are on the loose. There are multiple masterminds plotting and creeping around the borders of the story. Gigantic hyporbean robots are leveling cities. The gross little goblins from earlier in the series have gotten smarter adn more blood thirsty. In short, there is an incredible amount of danger being tossed into this rising action, and if this is just a warning, the main event should be staggering.
Guy Davis' art is once again, perfect. I'm so impressed at the way he can shift tones from full on action like the giant robots and the BPRD explosive team to the quieter spookiness of the rain-coated children in the street. He can mix and match so well, I loved the panel at the end where Abe is sitting in a hotel room. After all the madness and mayhem of the past day, there Abe is, sitting in a hotel room having a drink like any other fellow on a business trip.