There is a lot of plot to juggle in the latest issue of “B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth,” but as usual Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are up to the task. While victories are frequently pyrrhic for our heroes, fans of the series will continue to walk away happy and excited for more.
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
ART BY: Laurence Campbell
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 16, 2014
Review By: Ooknabah
There is a toll to be paid warding humanity from the worst of the supernatural, and BRPD has always been about the broken people holding that line and the damage they sustain in the line of duty. In exploring the early flashback from last issue, the creative team manage to surprise with plot turns that take what could have merely been window dressing into a key moment in the life of the character Hellboy. While Hellboy is never far from the stories of the BRPD, being so closely tied to its origins, he has long been absent as a current player and the creative team’s ability to both weave in his story and have it resonate with the tale at large is a credit to them and a great boon to readers.
Like some of the best Grant Morrison stories, B.P.R.D. feels loaded with ideas that might take a lesser series a full year to play out: Instead, this issue manages to balance each story expertly while resolving them with ease. While some of the ideas might have benefited from longer examination – Kate’s possession for instance would have been interesting to see play out over a long period of time – there is little fat to be trimmed from this tale and no indication that the writers are running out of stories to tell any time soon.
Laurence Campbell’s art remains phenomenal, with great colors provided by Dave Stewart. The visuals inject additional energy and urgency to the long sections of dialog, while really coming to life in the moments of explosive (no pun intended) action that mark the climax of the story. The layouts are also worthy of note, particularly in their effectiveness in clearly letting the readers know what is going on and reminding them of the important plot elements in what might otherwise become a confusing mess.
With deft moves in plotting, B.P.R.D. #121 manages to neatly wrap up the multiple threads from the previous issue skillfully and satisfyingly. Moody, tense and a joy to read. Bring on the next issue.
Ooknabah AKA Brent Hirose is a writer, actor and gigantic nerd from Vancouver B.C. You can listen to his podcast about that at HugeNerds.Podomatic.Com or check out his many other projects at BrentHirose.com