May 23, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine #1

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Tyler Crook (cover by Duncan Fegredo)
Colorist: Dave Stewart

The young girl named “Fenix” is making quite a name for herself. First, she’s been predicting catastrophes over the last few months, and then she shot Abe Sapien. He’s now in a coma, but showing signs of life as we speak. When Fenix shot Abe, Agent Devon witnessed it, but hasn’t done anything about it yet. He has managed to convince her to come in to the B.P.R.D. and talk to them about her “powers.” The two of them, along with her dog, Bruiser, need to board a train, but Fenix is nervous. She tells Agent Devon that something doesn’t feel right, but he dismisses her warning. Meanwhile, at the Zinco HQ, Leopold and Marsten have a laboratory that has something cooking that will resurrect their master. What effect this will have on the planet, no one knows…yet. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that Devon and Fenix wind up getting more than they bargained for with a train ride from hell!

For a first issue, this one was a little slow, especially when you compare it to the other series that have come out recently (Long Death, Pickens County). The strength of the other series is what’s gonna keep you coming back, though. The potential is there also, and this creative team has a solid track record to add to those things, as well. The situation with Fenix and Devon is an interesting one, because Devon witnessed Fenix shooting Abe, and seemingly stood by and watched it happen. He and Abe had been fighting about some things recently, and it was sort of implied that Devon didn’t want to stop Fenix because he believes that Abe is possibly an enemy in waiting. The crazy experiment at Zinco HQ is a good subplot on this one, too.

Tyler Crook is really going to make a name for himself in the near future, and his work on these BPRD titles is the proof in that statement. He really knows how to use the characters’ “look” and body language to relay feelings without saying much of anything. That is something to be appreciated for sure. As always, Stewart’s colors are right on the money. This isn’t anything new, and something always mentioned, but it’s worth mentioning every time. This dude just gets it. Fegredo did a fantastic job on the cover, and it really added to the overall mystery of the book. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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