B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Russia #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: John Arcudi
The BPRD has always been synonymous with Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman. Those days, however, are gone. So, who’s left, you say? Kate Corrigan and Johann Kraus. If you aren’t familiar with them, let me familiarize you quickly. Kate is a professor of history from NYU that specializes in folklore. On a mission with Hellboy years ago, she solved a mystery in a small European town, but nearly paid with her life, as she was savagely attacked by a werewolf. After Hellboy saved her life, she was promoted to be a regular member of the team. She was very prominent in the “Plague of Frogs” story line, as was Johann Kraus, the ectoplasmic entity with psichic powers. He’s been an agent for a few years now, and usually works with Kate. He has a containment suit that keeps him “together.”
Kate and Johann get sent to Russia by the Bureau after a call for assistance is received. The Russians have called for help after one of their agents was investigating an underground facility that’s been compromised by some unknown force. Once Johann and Kate arrive in Russia to meet the Russian Occult Bureau, they are greeted by some lackeys, but then Agent Kraus, using his psychic abilities, feels a presence nearby that doesn’t seem quite right. He’s right on the money, as a local man turns into this freakish beast that attacks the convoy. The Russians know that fire stops them, though, so they dispatch them fairly easy. Upon reaching the offices of the ROB, they discuss what’s going on. Not long into the conversation the Russians start to insult Kate and Agent Kraus (and the BPRD). They reveal that they know about some of the Bureau’s recent failures, and when Kate asks how they know, they respond by showing her information obtained on Wikileaks.
I’ve got to say that I’m not very familiar myself with these two members of the BPRD, but they really do a nice job of filling in for the bigger names (Abe, Liz). Mignola uses them in such a way that you really don’t notice it isn’t Abe and Liz. Kraus and Kate have a great relationship (working), and Mignola is writing another solid story featuring the Bureau. Arcudi picks right up where he left off with BPRD: The Dead Remembered. His style is dark and muted at times, but fits these characters and settings perfectly. We also get to see Abe Sapien in a coma, and I know there is a mini-series coming in the very near future exploring his condition, so stay tuned for that, as well! Rating 3.5/5