Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: James Harren
Release Date: 19th March 2014
A defiant Losif launches a full-scale assault against the Zinco tower, confident that his troops can make short work of its monster security. Meanwhile, Liz goes after the Black Flame. Unfortunately for her, the Flame knows it was Liz who killed him. And this time, he’s the one in control.
As part of #HellboyDay, Team BCP take a look at the latest issue of B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, from Dark Horse Comics.
Chris B Says…
Looking back on where the story has come, even from the start of Hell on Earth it has changed somewhat. Now, the story seems like some sort of strange post-apocalyptic survival/horror story, but at the same time, with the similar Mignola Supernatural Horror aspect we’ve came to love over the last 20 years. Getting to see Liz run her own team and, without soiling anything, has some fantastic dialogue at the tail end of the issue.
On art duties this month is James Harren, who’s destroyed cityscapes are, in a dark and twisted way, gorgeous. It’s always something i enjoy with the BPRD books, when the artist gets to run wild with monster designs and seeing what they come up with and Harren is no exception, from his Crickets design, to the way he has Black Flame looking, he’s hit the nail on the head. It seems strange it being a foot note now, but long time Mignola colourist Dave Stewart does a stellar job as ever, with his superb light/dark approach.
Not the strongest of issues recently and the panel layout is a bit wonky at times, but overall, for long time fans of the series and people like me who are only just reading recently, BPRD jumps from strength to strength.]
Chris N Says…
The more I read of this arc, the more I regret not being on board from the start. While this issue is more about setting up the next, final confrontation it does a fine job of ramming a few things home. The world is a hair’s breadth from going completely, irreversibly to shit, Liz Sherman is a determined badass and over the course. This arc is really stepping up as a team leader, the BPRD/Russian coalition will not be stopped by any mortal force and the Black Flame is one scary reanimated evil bastard.
Something has to give, and this issue sets that up to a tee and looks good doing it.
Hellboy’s twentieth anniversary is marked by the release of an art book and this; a comic mired in continuity and without any appearance by Hellboy. It’s a solid if unspectacular continuation of the ongoing B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth storyline, but any Mignolaverse novices looking for a jumping on point are best suited looking elsewhere.
The art is full of lively, detailed packed panels and great character work and there’s a real sense of speed and dynamism in the action. Despite this the story seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern. Rife with references to previous events and absent characters, it’s only in the last few pages that things seem to move forward from the status quo established in the last issue.
After a quiet entrance into the monster ridden streets of Manhattan, things are beginning to get messy. Monsters the size of skyscrapers are spawning mini monsters, the Zonco Corp are dug in deep, Herr Marsden hides behind two challenging body guards and the Black Flame sits atop of his Chrysler Building Castle. There’s a lot of stuff needing mopped but the B.P.R.D combined with the R.S.S.S have a few characters of their own.
It’s fast paced action all the way. The characters are on fine form particularly Agent Howards who seems to be having a lot of fun with that impressive sword of his. The tight script allows the action to flow and the art somehow manages to show all this carnage kicking off. The vision of this arc is immense. It’s hardly a jumping on point but after 20 years, there isn’t going to be one. Just ride the snake and you’ll get the hang of it.
With so much happening, it’s disturbing how smoothly it all runs. This is only the third of this five issue arc and yet here we are. More please.