September 6, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Return of The Master #1

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Return of The Master #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Tyler Crook (cover by Ryan Sook)
Colors: Dave Stewart

The BPRD is an agency that fights occult threats across the world. On a normal day or time, they have Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and Professor Broom to fight the battles and put a stop to those things. But the times they are a-changing, and newer faces have taken up the mantle to stop these threats. Johann Kraus, Kate Corrigan, Agent Devon, and others have been thrust into the front lines of the battle. It seems that they have a new ally in the enigmatic Fenix, though. As she has sought out the bureau to not only lend a hand, but also confess to the shooting of Abe Sapien. Meanwhile, at an airport in Scotland, the military is overseeing the evacuation of the majority of citizens. An odd looking man walks in, gets barked at by the K-9 unit on the premises, and then, after nothing more than a look from this mysterious man, the dog mutates into a beastly version of itself, and starts tearing people to shreds. And you thought your neighbor’s stupid dog barking all day was annoying, huh?

Dark Horse has quite a few books that are really telling good stories right now, but none better than BPRD. There are many different angles to this “universe,” but as long as you’ve been following along, everything will start to make sense. The Russia story, Zinco, Fenix, and every other piece of info that has been put out there in the last year or two is coming together like a puzzle. Mignola and crew aren’t putting all the cards on the table yet, but you’d better believe that there is a big payoff coming, and hopefully that means not only surprises, revelations, and tons of action, but also the return of agents that have been M.I.A. as well!

Crook and Stewart are doing their thing again. To say that they have got this series covered is an understatement. They give you something to look forward to that not only adds to the story, but tells one of its own. The psychotic looking “master” at the end of the book was sick, and the mutated dogs were absolutely vicious looking! The cover by Ryan Sook is quite good, too, and below is the Mignola variant. No matter how you look at it, this series is a home run! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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