Saturday, December 11, 2010

B.P.R.D.: King of Fear TPB

Another BPRD trade, another stroke of genius. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are simply unstoppable in this title. Their long-term story (now called War on Frogs) has been riveting, and it works quite well as the opening chapter of the BPRD. A lot happens in this trade, but most of it is character-related. There is certainly big action and plot movement, but this is an epilogue for the first era of the BPRD before things get kicked up to the next level.

It's fascinating to me how Abe Sapien has become Hellboy for the BPRD. What I mean is, he's the toughest field agent they've got, and he's out there leading strike teams and being a tough guy all the time now. It's sad seeing his teammate shy away from him because of his ties to the frogs, but I'm confident they'll come right back to him when they need him.

Johann's odd connection to Lobster Johnson gets wrapped up, and not in a way I expected. Johann's satisfied comment about Lobster being happy put a huge grin on my face. And that's saying something. Lobster's eternal fate is to fight Nazi ghosts forever, and yet that's exactly what the Claw of Justice would want.

Liz Sherman continues to be manipulated by Amon Saa. That dude has Liz's number. Once again, he spends a couple issues showing her an apocalyptic future with a destroyed BPRD helicarrier. The weirdest parts are seeing new names on some fatigues and seeing odd snapshots of our core cast in different circumstances. No sign of Daimio. LIz uses her powers on a global scale here, but she sure looks burned out at the end of the book. Without her pyro-powers, I'm worried the BPRD is overmatched.

There is plenty of face time for the rest of the BPRD cast, from Kate Corrigan and her new boyfriend all the way to Director Manning. The BPRD is global now, let's hope that means new agents, new gear, and new fights in the next series.

Guy Davis' art is still stunning.I can't comprehend how he seamlesly morphs a brick wall into an army of fighting ghosts. The new gigantic monster is California ia horrifying, as are its monster-mist offspring.


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