April 11, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Artist: Jason Latour (cover by Becky Cloonan)
Colorist: Dave Stewart

If you haven’t already heard, 2012 is the big year for the B.P.R.D.! They are going to be in the big time spotlight, and why not! This has been the most consistent series from Dark Horse in the couple of years I’ve been reading their stuff. They have plenty of good books to offer, but Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, and John Arcudi have just been fantastic with these macabre stories. This book starts off in continuity with the other title (B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death) that is going on right now. This book, however, shows something totally different cropping up in some backwater county in the middle of nowhere. There’s a strange fog that rolls through these parts, and people are getting sick just from being exposed to it. The B.P.R.D. has been called in to investigate, and after not getting much in the way of answers from local authorities, it’s up to Agent Vaughn and Agent Peters to find out what’s going on, and neutralize it. Oh, and did I mention there are vampires living in the area? They seem friendly enough, but they also seem to have an idea about something big that’s going to happen very soon!

Mike Mignola is on fire, ladies and gentlemen! Between the two B.P.R.D. books, and everything else on his plate, Mignola, along with Scott Allie (and John Arcudi) are tearing it up. The tone of this book coupled with the many angles it throws at you is great. We get new material plus a tie-in to the past (Plague of Frogs), as well. I’m a sucker for things from the past tying to new material. When that happens, I get surprised, then astonished at the same time, and anybody that can do that is top notch in my opinion. It’s great when Mignola not only has the Bureau involved, but also brings in a side story that initially doesn’t seem to matter much, but by the end of the story, has you just as intrigued as the main plot. I love it that this year is going to be a HUGE year for the B.P.R.D., and am still holding out hope for a reunion with Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman!

I think this is the first time I’ve encountered the artwork of Jason Latour. His style seems to be a good fit for a horror book like this one. Creepy people, places, and things adorn the pages. He even makes an old professor hiding in the woods look weird enough to keep Agent Vaughn on his toes! His faces on close-ups are sometimes slightly off, but honestly, that’s just me being picky. A big plus is having Dave Stewart on colors, though. He’s been the go to guy for a while now with Dark Horse, and I hope for their sake, they never let him go. So go get your horror comic fix with these great B.P.R.D. titles, and see the great stuff Mignola and company have been putting out! (Mignola variant cover below.) Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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