In Review: B.P.R.D.: Vampire #4
The cover: Something is crawling out of the darkness. All that can be seen of it are six of its appendages and a familiar blood red symbol. Why is that what’s unseen is always creeper than what’s seen? Good cover by Fabio Moon that’s teasing a major scene that begins on Page 11. This image keeps making me think of that scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing. Spider legs trigger my movie default, I guess. Overall grade: A-
The story: I’ve become absorbed in Agent Anders’ adventures, but the first three pages were the most interesting for me. I’m a sucker for gothic horror and this trio of pages falls under that category. A woman has made a sacrifice to Hecate for the return of her lover. Long time readers know this is one entity you do not want to make a bargain with. Her wish is granted, in exchange for her soul, and Wilhelm returns, with two friends as the forest drowns in blood. The flashback ends with Anders emerging from the lost city a changed man. He encounters a large group of characters and “stuff” happens. I did not expect to see this group, nor did I expect them to do what they did. Anders is definitely in a different league and writers Mike Mignola, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon have no problem showing their readers what the B.P.R.D. agent is capable of. As impressive as Pages 10 – 17 were, Page 20 was the money shot and I was pleased to have the art show me the fallout of what happened (Page 21) rather than the confrontation itself. Things are winding down, but to what end? Overall grade: A-
The art: As with the story, my favorite pages were the first three and Page 20. Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon do statuary expertly, Page 1 in this issue and the lost city in the previous two, and I’d love to see them do a series or a one-shot set wholly in the distant past. They also can do action well, and this issue has that to be sure, though I did momentarily get confused on Pages 14 and 15, believing it to be a double-paged spread. I liked the slow pull in on Page 18 to Hana and the reveal on 20 is super. Overall grade: A-
The colors: A good job by Dave Stewart. I enjoyed the eerie green on Page 1 and how it morphed into an overpowering red on 2 and 3. I also liked the oranges and yellows when things got hot. Overall grade: A
The letters: Fine dialogue from Clem Robins, but I think the sound effects in this issue are a product of the artists, as it resembles no font I’ve seen him do before in previous Mignolaverse books. Overall grade: A
The final line: What’s left? Seriously. I have no clue as to what can happen in the final issue. Things are pretty much wrapped up, but I’m seeing this through to the end! 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 or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.