Monday, November 14, 2011

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth TPB

Dang. Is there a better book on the stands than BPRD? I freaking love this comic. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have created such a fascinating world, I can't get enough of it.

The world is in a rough spot. Some gigantic spore creature created a bunch of monsters in California, there's a volcano in Texas, and in Canada, entire towns are disappearing. This trade focuses on the Canadian diappearances, and it's a great, focused story about how the Earth is slowly giving way to chaos. While there are plenty of scenes for Kate Corrigan and the other folks back at HQ, the stars of this book are Abe Sapien and Capt. Daimio. It's been a long time since we saw the good Captain, but he's still out there doing his part to protect humanity. He just does it out in the woods like some sort of survivalist. These two men of action are a great team; it's been a long time since Mignola had two field agents who worked this well together (Hellboy had this relationship with both Abe and Roger the homunculus). The scene where the tentacle-beast chases the two of them through town while they empty AK-47's at him was thrilling.

As for Johann Kraus, he is getting harder and harder to like. The guy clearly blames Daimio for destroying his gigantic muscle-bod, and he's having a hard time thinking about anything besides getting it back. I understand Johann has had a hard couple of years now, but he's supposed to be a senior BPRD agent, and seeing him off in a daze all the time is unsettling. I am enjoying the developing suspicion he holds for Panya, the ancient mummy-woman.

One of the things Mignola and Arcudi do best is fill in the gaps around the stars of the book. Along with Devon, who has been around for a few books now, there are a couple more human field agents that really have the potential to add to the book. I loved the closing 8-page story with Carla. The world is crazy and she just put down a 60-foot monster, but she just wants to get home to her three-year-old. The world would go on, you know?

Guy Davis' art is simply amazing. That crazy pellican-monkey that's running around BPRD HQ is one of the silliest things I've ever seen, and yet I'm certain there is emotion in those weird eyes. The greenhouse, full of genetic mutations is another bright spot; when that gigantic hammerhead shark/gorilla hybrid comes out of the trees, who isn't tickled? One of my favorite Davis designs has always been his insane-looking Wendigo, Darryl. He shows up a few times in this, and man, that is one crazy beast-man!

I love it. What a fantastic comic.


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