January 25, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. 1948 #4

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Written by: Billy
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B.P.R.D. 1948 #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Max Fiumara (cover by Dave Johnson)
Colors: Dave Stewart

Professor Broom and his new love interest, Anna, had a nice talk about other-worldly beings, parallel universes, and other assorted things. Now she thinks he’s a quack. He told the military that he thinks the nuclear testing, coupled with the land being used formerly as a spot for shamanistic rituals, is opening a gateway to another ghostly plane. This infuriates Anna, because she only believes in things that can be explained scientifically. Meanwhile, Anders has gone A.W.O.L., and what he finds out in the middle of the desert is nothing short of incredible. He sees a pack of vultures all surrounding something big, but the only thing he can make out is a bloody boot. After firing his pistol in the air, the birds scatter, and the beast that’s underneath is so horrific that Anders is even given pause.

This series has really picked up a lot in these last two issues. The romance between the Professor and Anna was cute, but it seems as though that’s over. The horror element got cranked up a notch in this issue when that beast appeared from under the vultures. The final page was another awesome shot of something really crazy and creepy, too. Mignola and Arcudi have the series ready for a big finish, and where that will lead, nobody knows, but these last couple of issues should restore faith in the readers of the BPRD universe.

Max Fiumara is one good artist. He has a bunch of credits (most notably ASM) to his name, and this series is certainly some of his best work. His versions of these characters are right on par with the previous artist’s, but he adds something unique to the pages. When he does a darker panel or page, the eyes of the characters are pitch black. While it doesn’t sound like much, it adds a creep factor that other artists don’t typically have.

Lastly, we must speak of the insanely good cover by Dave Johnson. This dude can just flat out ball. His covers for this series prove that even covers that are mostly black and white can still look impressive. He did one of my favorite covers ever a couple years ago for another Dark Horse book – Abe Sapien: The Devil Does not Jest #2. This cover is quickly becoming another favorite, for obvious reasons. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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