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February 18, 2012
 

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & Scott Arcudi
Artist: James Harren (cover by Duncan Fegredo)
Colors: Dave Stewart

A new chapter in the story of the BPRD is unfolding in this exciting continuation of Johann Kraus! This tale begins with Johann having what he thinks is a dream. The only thing is, Kraus hasn’t had a dream ever since he lost his human form. As he discusses this with other members of the team, Agent Kraus is told of a situation in British Columbia, and the team is assembled. On the way to the assignment, Agent Kraus has a few words with Agent Giarocco. He tries to understand some of the customs of her religion, but he has a tough time. After that, the team splits up and Johann gets separated from the rest of the team. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the team, and Johann soon shows that he truly wants to find the spot where Abe Sapien killed a beast earlier in the year. What he has in mind, I’m not quite sure, but what fate awaits the rest of the team, I’m quite sure is nothing short of evil!

Arcudi and Mignola have been a tag-team now for a while on BPRD, and it really shows in their mastery over these characters. Johann is quickly becoming one of my favorite members of the BPRD. I also like that it was sort of hinted that Abe might be ready for a comeback, and also that Liz may be rejoining the team. The pacing of this book was pretty good, too, but I did get a little bit confused at the part where Johann split up from the team in British Columbia. It took me a couple of times reading over it to figure it out. Other than that, I have zero complaints about this book. It gives a great starting point for the next chapter with the BPRD!

Artist James Harren is pretty cool, and his work on Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest was indeed a unique take on that character. He returns to the BPRD with this book, and picks up right where he left off. I love the way he draws even the most simple things, like a house, and makes it look incredible. There is a panel that shows a ranger station that is almost completely frozen over, and it looks just marvelous. I know it sounds like something that shouldn’t even be mentioned, but when something like that catches my eye, I have to talk about it. Once again, Dave Stewart is the colorist, and his run on these Mignola/Arcudi creations is a testament to his talents. There are some panels that are good, but his makes them great. Again, a good start to this new book, and I will be waiting impatiently for issue #2! (Variant cover below by Mike Mignola.) Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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