April 26, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #3

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #3 (of 3)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: James Harren (cover by Duncan Fegredo)
Colorist: Dave Stewart

In this final issue, we see Johann return to his suit, and to his comrades. They aren’t very enthusiastic about Johann’s knife or their chances to defeat Daimio. The knife seemed to hurt him, but then he just shrugged off Johann, and ran away. Johann and his team discuss how they’ll stop Daimio, and they come to the conclusion that the Wendigo might help them in their upcoming battle. Johann seems to know more than he’s willing to say about the Wendigo, and we actually get to see the Wendigo sitting in the forest, and looking at a familiar photograph. Johann also tells his team that this particular Wendigo isn’t inhabited by the soul of someone wicked as he once stated they are, but by a family man that is innocent. He further explains that this family man has had the chance to fight/kill Daimio, but has not. Agent Nichols then asks Johann why he has a file on this particular beast, but Johann just tells him to go to sleep.

Mignola and Arcudi (along with Scott Allie on the other B.P.R.D. books) are quickly becoming one of the best writing teams out there. Their work on this title, which coincidentally everybody should be reading, is fantastic. There are several different things at play here. First, you have the relationship between Johann, Daimio, and this Wendigo. Secondly, the team doesn’t really trust Johann since his last disappearing act when they were brutalized by the “were-jaguar,” Daimio. We all know that Dark Horse has teased that this is all going to tie together in a huge year-long event with the B.P.R.D.! What the end game is, nobody knows, and these books aren’t really spelling it out yet, either. And that’s a good thing!

James Harren and Dave Stewart are quite a formidable team. The creatures in this book are really freaky looking, and definitely have a creepy vibe about them. The fact that the Wendigo looks kind of scrawny compared to Marvel’s version is a good thing to keep you off guard with how crazy and strong it really is. The war between the Wendigo and the jaguar are really awesome, and filled with what you’d expect. Lots of bloody panels, filled with slashing, biting, and just wild animal-style fighting. The pencils are strong, but made even better by Stewart’s bright reds and other vibrant colors.

This series would be a tough jumping on point for a B.P.R.D. noob, but if you can go pick up the last couple of trades, you’ll be fine. And honestly, the best is yet to come from this creative team. You simply can’t go wrong with Mignola and his writing partners, or Harren, Stewart, and company. Every month you get your money’s worth when you open the pages, and that’s the bottom line. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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