Review – B.P.R.D: The Devil You Know Vol 3 – Ragna Rok TP (Dark Horse)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artwork: Christopher Mitten, Laurence Campbell, Mike Mignola
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clem Robins
Release Date: 17th July 2019

“This is the end, beautiful friend, This is the end, my only friend, The end, of our elaborate plans, The end, of everything that stands, The end, no safety or surprise, The end, I’ll never look into your eyes, again.” – Jim Morrison, “The End”.

Hellboy, Liz and Abe head back to New York to make a last stand against Rasputin and the Ogdru Hem before what remains of Humanity is completely wiped out. Meanwhile, Fenix and Howards lead what survivors they can find towards a mysterious underground sanctuary.

This volume begins with a look at the origins of of Vavara in turn of the century Russia, and her surprising connection to the Mad Monk himself. Once this thread of the story has been closed, we are brought up to date and thrust right back into the action, with Hellboy and the rest of the team fleeing from the carnage and destruction being wrought by Rasputin and the rise of the Ogdru Hem. From here on in neither the action nor the tension lets up until the very last page.

From day one, we’ve known that Anung Un Rama, the Right Hand of Doom was destined to bring about Ragna Rok and we’ve also always known that Liz Sherman would be the one to stop it. What we perhaps weren’t expecting was the sacrifices that would be involved, or the ultimate fate of our friends and the whole of humanity that we’re left with.

The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence made its first appearance in 1993 in the Hellboy story “Seed of Destruction”. Twenty-six years later, we reach the conclusion of their story in the third volume of “The Devil You Know”. Twenty-six years is a long, long time to run a story line, and I stopped to appreciate that for a moment, I started to seriously consider whether I should class Mike Mignola’s creations as my longest ever relationship…

I always understood that there would be an end to the stories and world of Hellboy, but that doesn’t make it any easier to finally see that end on the page. The Devil You Know is, for me, the final chapter of Hell on Earth rather than a standalone series, and I’m delighted to say that this is a very satisfying conclusion. While this is obviously all about tying up loose ends and bringing down the curtain on this saga, nothing feels trite or contrived. In drawing the series to a close, and we are left in no doubt that this is the end, that there is still hope left, and that in whatever form and however reduced, humanity will survive.

So, with much regret, we say goodbye to the world of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. I’m sure however that Mike Mignola still has plenty of stories left for us in the B.P.R.D. Case Files to keep us happy for years to come, and I look forward to seeing what else comes out of the Mignolaverse going forward.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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