B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Tyler Crook (cover by Ryan Sook)
Colors: Dave Stewart
With a huge battle going on in the British Isles, and Zinco on the verge of reanimating their master, Kate is telling Johann that she trusts him, and we know that’s a lie. After his reckless behavior in Canada, when he went after a former friend turned beast, Johann was placed on suspension, and that was letting him off easy. Since then, he’s been much maligned around the Bureau. On a side note, Fenix has decided to leave after her dog decided to…well, it’s not quite clear what happened. In the last issue it appeared that the dog turned into some sort of beast that is then lying on an operating table, but when we see Fenix leaving the Bureau, she has the dog with her. So either it puked up the beast or something’s wrong here.
Wow, what an action packed issue! There were some major league battles going on overseas, not to mention the crazy crap that Zinco is cooking up! The action scenes were chock-full of beasts ripping through agents, severed limbs flying around, grenades blowing bizarre creatures to bits, and then the “Master,” Lazar, hulking up like Bruce Banner when he seemed to be ready for his last breath. Seeing Abe still just floating in a healing tank is kind of getting old, but one must wonder why they keep doing it. Maybe foreshadowing, or just to take up space. Who knows? But one thing’s for sure, when he does eventually get back, as well as Hellboy, it will be awesome!
The artwork was great, and this is nothing new for names like Crook and Stewart. Business as usual, and that is to be commended. One thing that really stood out for me was the cover. Ryan Sook did a phenomenal job with that, for sure. The Frankenstein’s Monster homage was the absolute best for this issue with the rise of the “Master” at the end of the story. It really had an old school feel to it, which sounds like it wouldn’t jive with a new book like BPRD, but it couldn’t have been more appropriate to do it than right now. With one issue to go, it will be interesting to see how things can get any crazier than they are now. You have Zinco and the reanimated corpse, the battle overseas, and the Fenix story line to wrap up, or at the very least one of those angles. (Alternate cover below by Mike Mignola & Dave Stewart.) Rating 4/5