Review: B.P.R.D. Vampire #5 (of 5)

Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North Thank you Mr. Mignola for taking me somewhere that I never would’ve imagined and capping off this event that I’ve been following since the start, in a clever and memorable way.

The ending to a “run” of a comic can be many things, but so many events these days settle for endings that call up words like “bland”, “fan-servicy” or “just a set-up for the next thing.” what I’m saying is it takes cojones to say, “screw the status quo I’m telling a cool story”, which is exactly what B.P.R.D. Vampire manages to do.

Even though Agent Anders became harder and harder to identify with over the course of the comic, what with the demon-ghost powers and all and certainly more morally murky we figured that in the end of it all he’d see the errors of his ways, get rid of his curse and save the day but... nope. In a brilliant and oh-so-cool move this issue switches perspective to whom else but the Professor himself who is summoned to the little town in Europe where all the carnage went down via his rouge agent. And it’s the Prof we focus on here, see him work. The Prof calmly goes in to check out the situation in the mansion, leading the soldiers who sit apprehensively with their guns behind. Reminding Simon who he is and talking to him without as much as a tremble in his voice; it’s awesome. The writers and artists here manage to make this man, this guy in a twill jacket who weighs 130 wet and doesn’t even carry a weapon outside of a wooden stake, the most badass in the whole comic. He just feels like he’s done this before. It’s his every day. Now he doesn’t trivialize it, it’s clear through the artwork and a couple of conversations that he has (one that is inexplicably and wonderfully with a tsk-tsking china doll in particular) that this type of thing is his cross to bear, but then he just bucks up and does it; awesome stuff.

By the end Anders escapes and nobody can find him. The Prof goes back, has a drink and just... adds his case to the pile. It’s that moment that seals the deal for me, what so easily could’ve been unsatisfying is done is such expert manner as to be staggeringly cool. The Professor, recalling his lost agent sits down with a glass of scotch and just as soon as he begins to drink in his sorrows is told his “team” is waiting in the next room for their assignment. He puts down the drink, “Right, let’s go then. I don’t want to keep them waiting” and goes to make the whole thing an official case. The last shot is of the Profs' desk with all the research on Anders spread all over it.

BPRD Vampire #5 CoverThe Prof. Walks out of the room assuring no one in particular that his team will know about the case soon enough. What’s cool about it all is seeing this guy who up until this issue just seemed like a stuffy, scrawny bookworm actually put his nose to the grindstone and out bad-assed even Anders (who lets remember last issue killed like 50 supernatural beings in one fight) in the mansion, his willingness to go toe to toe with a being that much more overwhelmingly powerful was awesome and telling indeed. Match that with the nonchalant way that he just kind of adds the case to the pile and growing to realize it’s just another day’s work for him and you have a character I can really respect.

It’s things like this, breaking the mold, giving readers a new perspective, working with unorthodox ideas (what if in this last issue we told it from a completely different perspective and made the hero the villain) that keeps this genre fresh and story-philes interested in the medium of comics as a whole. I will add that the plot point tying Anders to the ghosts and the past was a cool idea, but it felt glanced over and kind of tacked on by the end here. Compared to the quality of the project overall it’s barley worth mentioning, as everything else is done in a way that only a guy intimately familiar with his own lore could manage.

This was a book that gave me some of the most fantastic art, memorable moments and intriguing turns than nearly any I was keeping up with. It was a fun ride and I’m sad to see it go. Mike Mignola, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba you all have outdone yourselves with your work here.

Score: 5/5

Writers: Mike Mignola, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Artists: Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 7/31/13