Two huge revelations triggered crazy events at the end of volume 6. Then this volume practically ignored them, initially returning to the small scope and focus on the grunts of the BPRD. It’s a more character driven approach and well done, but I just wanted more of the epicness the series is capable of. The final arc returns to the wild and imaginative storytelling that makes this my favorite series, but it’s yet another story thread while I’m still aching for more on the events already happening.
Its almost as if B.P.R.D.’s creators cataloged my favorite elements from the Hellboy universe and in this volume decided to dramatically reveal them all as epically as possible. Bad guys from volume 1 and monsters from volume 12 plus the BPRD’s most awesome villain all merging on the growing apocalypse. The end of world is crashing down and it could not be more entertaining.
This volume, we have a collection of stories exploring some fun corners of the Hellboy universe. Some of them are gorgeous and suspenseful, full of the ominous terror BPRD does so well, and others are just weird Robert-Howard-like adventures. I liked the highlighting of the regular grunt BPRD members, but I still could’ve used a little more of the main cast, or at least some plot progression. Even still, BPRD continues to showcase pulp comics done right.
While there was no slacking in the awesome monster art, the story wasn’t the usual caliber. The ending seemed forced and characters other than Bruttenholm were flat, almost as if on purpose. But the premise of technology interacting with the supernatural is certainly intriguing and something Hellboy comics have been light on lately.
It returned to, and resolved, one of my favorite BPRD stories quite spectacularly. And mixed in there was another supremely awesome monster story full of action and terror. This series really knows what it’s doing and I can’t get enough of it.
The best thing about Lobster Johnson is his entourage. He has a full team of guys helping him who aren’t also superheroes, just regular guys. It easily makes him more likable, while still allowing him to have that shadowy badass persona. The story was fairly standard, with a regrettable spunky-reporter-girl as protagonist. I’m conflicted over the villain too. He was certainly cool and all, but lacking in any real development. Like Boba Fett or Darth Maul. But Mignola knows his pulp and has never disappointed.
I was worried that after they ended their first super-arc (14 TPB volumes!) it would take a while to get ramped back up. In this volume Houston and Seattle are both destroyed. And that’s just the tip of the epic iceberg. The characters are just so nuanced and perfectly utilized. Writing this review, I realize that the Hellboy universe is by far my favorite comic series, and that no one I know has read hardly any of it, especially B.P.R.D. It’s so good, peoples!