In Review: B.P.R.D. #107
The cover: A B.P.R.D. member has had a bad experience while wearing his/her environmental suit. His/Her shadow on the wall shows that things are even worse than you’d expect. Creepy, creepy cover by Dave Johnson. Overall grade: A
The story: This is the first in a three part story titled “Wasteland” by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi. The book’s first page shows an agent debating to take some pills to knock himself out. Johann is watching over him, so he decides to take them. We then flash to the recent past where our Agent Nichols and others are going “somewhere” in a helicopter during a storm. One agent tells Nichols that sedatives are the only way to go. The bumpy ride takes a turn for the worse when a new giant monster bursts from the earth with a horrific result. There have been lots of monsters running about in the Mignolaverse, but this thing’s results truly deserve the term “ghastly”. The copter crashes and our heroes begin their trek and it’s a slow burn. This is like watching The Mist for the first time, or an episode of The Walking Dead. You feel as if everyone is doomed, but there’s still enough hope to keep going. Woof! Emotionally tough stuff! Overall grade: A
The art: This is the most real looking art I’ve seen in a B.P.R.D. tale. Laurence Campbell makes this story more believable because of the book’s look. It’s like photos have come to life. Even when the supernatural raises its head–it’s gigantic, massive head–you believe it because of the art. I also like how he is selective of what he shows in his panels, such as what’s shown on the last page, because seeing it clearly could drive you insane. Overall grade: A
The colors: I did not like the coloring on this issue by Dave Stewart. Maybe it’s due to the art, but in scenes of horror the panels just go completely orange-red. It overwhelmed the art. It’s necessary for Page 6, but elsewhere it’s overkill. Reminded me of when DC and Marvel switched over to a higher quality of paper in the 1980′s but didn’t know how to color their books. Overall grade: C
The letters: I liked the big, bold sound effects by Clem Robins, who also does a bang up job on dialogue. Overall grade: A
The final line: A heavy horror story that doesn’t deserve the moniker “comic”. Overall grade: A-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers and looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.