B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Pickens County Horror and Others
Publisher: Dark Horse
Story: Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Artists: Jason Latour, Max Fiumara, James Harren, Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart, & Becky Cloonan
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
I love the Hellboy universe. It’s got the perfect level of creepy and strange alongside the familiarity of our own world. The occult is very real, and monsters and things mankind was not meant to know about fill the nooks and crannies of the planet. The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is right up there with the F.B.I. in this world for who you call when things are just too big for the cops. This book is a collection of short stories that focus on the non-supernatural creature members of the organization. What does this book bring to the big world of Hellboy? Let’s find out.
B.P.R.D. agents that aren’t the big deals like Hellboy and company tend to be the first people picked off on a mission. So what happens when the team is compromised of just regular humans with no superpowers, just their skill and cunning? You get some pretty damn interesting stories that are filled with tension and fear as you are seeing things from the very squishy view of the folks that don’t have the right hand of doom or the ability to breathe underwater or control fire.
The stories are all taking place post-Plague of Frogs, which was a near world-ending event that the BPRD had to handle, sans Hellboy. The agents of each story are still reeling from the horrors of those dark days. I like that even if you haven’t read any BPRD or Hellboy books before this, you could still piece together the important stuff, and if you are a fan of the series you will be able to enjoy a deeper level to the tales being told.
I enjoy that it’s just humans out of their element facing off against some very scary or weird things. Vampires, Quantum Leap-style time travel, ghosts, and dark gods only know what else. Seriously, there is a story in there that has some weird bug things from a dark god or something. The whole book is great, and you don’t gotta be a huge Hellboy or BPRD fan to enjoy the stories. I love that the vampire apocalypse is still gaining traction and know that is going to go badly.
The art in the book is great, each story has different artists, yet they all feel similar without becoming the same thing over and over again. Each has a unique spin on the look so I don’t mix any two stories up, but I know they all belong in the same family of stories. There is familiarity that fits the world, but it never feels like I’m just getting a copycat artist.
If you like paranormal horror, this is a book for you. If you like BPRD, you don’t need me telling you to read this, you probably are just wanting to hear more about it. Either way, this is a solid book in both story and art. Check it out.