And Then I Read: B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH Vol. 12

BPRDHOEv12008Image © Mike Mignola.

Just after I complained about the complicated and depressing storyline of Volume 11, this one turns things around nicely. In the first of two stories, Agent Johann, the one with no corporeal body who must wear a containment suit to hold his ectoplasmic essence, is coming back from a mission he led that went badly. The surviving troops are pissed, and won’t talk to him. Back at headquarters in Colorado, Johann thinks about the mission and wonders if he has become so much less than human that he can no longer lead the living. In a fascinating exploration of his feelings and fears, as well as the events of the mission, with excellent art by Peter Snejbjerg, we get more insight to Johann than we’ve seen in a long time.

The second story, with equally fine art by Julian Totino Tedesco, involves a suit of super-armor developed in World War Two and used by an American soldier to help fight Nazis. The same armor in the present is being examined by Johann to possibly help with their current dire situation against the monsters of Hell that are marching on their headquarters. The two story lines intertwine well and actually leave us on an upbeat note for once. Kudos to writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi (who I suspect does the lion’s share).


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