B.P.R.D. keeps on ramping up. And with part 4 of 5 of its “Lake of Fire” plot-line it delivers the most exciting and high intensity build up yet. There isn’t a character in this book that isn’t preparing to get shit done in their own way; Fenix, distraught over Bob’s disappearance plans to find a way to strike back at the demon worshipping hippies that stole him. Liz Sheerman is back in action and planning to take her abilities back to evil’s dingy doorstep and every body’s favorite ectoplasmic avenger Johann Krauss plans to lead a strike team into Manhattan. The great thing about these stories is that while all that tension is hanging in the air, we never have to wait long to get some sort of payoff.
Monsters catch on fire, hippy worship sites get nuked and one very bad-assed sword wielding beast-cat of a man gets picked for a team. This issue serves to prove to us that all the bad-asses in Mignola’s universe are locked and loaded and prepared to give the malevolent forces of darkness a counter punch square in the jaw.
It’d be hard caring about so many characters if it wasn’t for the humanizing writing of Mike Mignola and John Arcudi. It’d be difficult to be invested in act of violence after act of violence if Tyler Crook didn’t have the ability to draw with all the dynamic angles of a feature film (even if his faces do all look weirdly similarly babyish at times) and none of it would stay so grounded and digestible if it wasn’t for the color skills of Dave Stewart.
B.P.R.D. continues to offer something I don’t get in other comics; it always feels epic and big and like all of these individual pieces play parts. At the end of the day though, it’s the care put into the book. The story of man vs. monsters is a simple one and one that could so easily fall into lazy territory and still be fairly well done. But the integrity of B.P.R.D.’s team assures us that yes, there will be monsters, and they will be done well. But so will the environments, so will the character moments, big and small, so will new character development, so will art, and so on and so forth. And that care about making a good product is what makes these stories ones I can’t miss.
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi Artist: Tyler Crook Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 11/20/13