B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Return of The Master #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Tyler Crook (cover by Ryan Sook)
Colors: Dave Stewart
A while back, the B.P.R.D. sent a team to Russia that included Kate and Johann. They both had their reservations about certain things, but Kate more than Johann. Johann met a kindred spirit of sorts while they were there, but we’ve seen since then that the Russian commander, Losif, is not quite as he seemed to be. On another front, Zinco has their operatives ready to take possession of a certain body that the BPRD has been housing for a few years. They have the Bureau believing it’s for a grand experiment that will help mankind, but really their motives are far more sinister. Meanwhile, in Scotland, a team of agents stumbles upon a ghost that seems harmless enough at first, but then turns into a raging monster! We also check in on the “master” and his followers. They’ve taken shelter in an old crumbling castle, but the scenery isn’t very conducive to the direction he’s leading his minions!
Wow. It’s honestly magical to read this book, and see the connections as far back as “The Black Flame.” From Roger being killed, to the more recent ties to the Russian adventure, you really get the feeling that Mignola and Arcudi have something insanely special going on here. Anytime you can pick up a book from 2006, and see relevance in a book from today, that’s saying something. The next issue brings the renumbering as well, so that’s something to look forward to. People have been shouting from the rooftops for that one, but honestly, if that’s your biggest gripe, kudos to Dark Horse. Another strong point to this book was the relationship/dialog between Kate and Johann. They’ve been pulling their weight and then some around the Bureau since the loss of Hellboy, Abe, and Liz. It was interesting to see Kate get angry with him, and his subsequent emotions.
Tyler Crook and Dave Stewart are a fantastic team for the artistic duties on this title. The blend of pencils and colors that they bring to the table is what makes BPRD an undeniably great book that contains artwork that jumps off the pages. From the ghost in Scotland to the shady Russian commander, they make it look good. The cover by Ryan Sook is another good one, too, and he’s becoming part of the family that we should all be used to seeing by now. Rating 5/5