Written by Tim Midura
on Wednesday, January 15 2014 and posted in Reviews
Two B.P.R.D. teams enter the wasteland that is New York City.
Beginning the new arc titled The Reign of The Black Flame, B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #115 is released this week from Dark Horse Comics. Co-written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, with art by the returning James Harren and colors by Dave Stewart, this issue sees dual B.P.R.D. teams battle monsters in the streets on their way to confront The Black Flame. The cover by the amazing Rafael Albuquerque features Agent Howards cutting a bright swath with his Hyperborean blade, juxtaposed against grim skeletons.
Two B.P.R.D. teams are making their way through New York City after its destruction last issue. The first team includes Fenix, Johann Kraus, and Liz Sherman, while the other team is made up of Russian S.S.S. Director Nichayko, Agent Carla, and Agents Howards, Gerversh, Nichols, and Enos. Fenix’s team doesn’t see much action but runs into trouble by sunrise as Carla’s team is carving a path through monster-filled sewers.
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi balance the twin narratives perfectly; each team gets a few pages before switching off to the other. The contrast between the two teams, one being action-oriented and the other being story-driven, is well done. The lack of bodies throughout NYC is creepy, so when Liz Sherman’s team reaches Prospect Park in Brooklyn, boy is it heavy.
James Harren comes back to the B.P.R.D. family with his thin-lined, detail-heavy artwork accompanied by Dave Stewart’s brilliant colors. Their monsters are eerie and otherworldly. The pages in Prospect Park rely solely on Harren and Stewart’s art to convey it’s weight. The image of the “I’m Sorry,” note pinned to someone’s clothing next to a pistol sums up the situation considerably.
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #115 is a great jumping on point for new readers as events are recapped without getting bogged down with exposition. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a giant Marlboro-crab creature cast against the NYC skyline.
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