July 4, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine #2 (of 3)

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devils Engine #2 (of 3)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Tyler Crook (cover by Duncan Fegredo)
Colors: Dave Stewart

The huge train wreck that was foreseen by the young girl named Fenix, has Agent Devon fascinated, but also angry because only moments afterwards, Fenix is talking to her dog as if nothing happened. Both of them are rattled, but also realize that they must find a way to get to civilization. They walk for a while, then come upon a highway with a few abandoned cars. They wonder why the cars are abandoned for a minute, but soon have their answer. Huge, enormous beasts (the same beasts that attacked the BPRD agents when Agent Devon and Agent Sapien first encountered Fenix) are on the other side of the vehicles devouring everything in sight, including the passengers! Agent Devon and Fenix quickly get into the cab of a tractor, and take off. After a couple of minutes, they look at the fuel gauge and see that the tank is nearly empty. Back at Zinco, the top brass is planning their next move, and it apparently involves a being in bandages that’s hooked up to all kinds of machines that will give it life!

Mignola and Arcudi have been a team on BPRD for quite some time now, and it really shows how much they not only know about these characters, but how much they can get out of them. Translation is that they can easily take someone like Agent Devon or Fenix, and turn them into the most interesting people and force your curiosity to be aroused by them. Not only that, but you get emotionally invested in their well-being. They somehow make the reader get attached to them in a sense that you would a real person that you know. How they do this, I have no idea, but they manage it, trust me.

In the past, many publishers have had to switch artists for one reason or another, so when Tyler Crook came aboard BPRD, most who weren’t familiar with his work were probably at least slightly skeptical. After a fairly short stint, he has proven that he can not only fill the shoes of the previous artists, but maybe even surpass them. He does a solid job with his characters, but especially with these horrific creatures that are terrorizing the pages of this book. Having a talented guy like Dave Stewart on colors doesn’t hurt, either. As I’ve mentioned before, he really knows how to make all the pencils better by adding his talents to them. Fegredo’s cover is right on the money, as well. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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