In Review: B.P.R.D. #110

The cover: An unsettling image of several B.P.R.D. agents in breather suits watching as one of those gigantic egg laying monsters produces a discharge from its maw that contains the image of Liz Sherman. I always like when scientists have that moment where they stand in awe of something they don’t understand. The coloring really sells the image: the white surface, blue suits, green monster and red-orange sky. A supreme cover from Rafael Albuquerque. Overall grade: A

The story: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s opening chapter of “Lake of Fire” begins in March, a volunteer helping with clean up at the site of a gigantic dead creature laments that everything is dead, save the four inch parasitic creatures crawling out of the beast’s maw. This volunteer is going to be a major player in this story arc. The tale then moves to June as Liz is in a powerless hospital. We then are treated to five page of the core team as they receive some new orders. These are followed by three pages that owe a lot to H.P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West–Reanimator.” Fenix and Bruiser also make an appearance, following the events of Abe Sapien’s series. The last two pages will make your heart skip a beat as Liz is about to be in the line of fire. There’s a lot going on in this issue. It’s the first one in some time where all the, surviving, core cast members appear, but the focus was all over the place. As it stands, the main story seems to be focused on the volunteer character. If so, I’m wondering do we need Pages 8 – 11? They are obviously tied to the “big” story of the Earth’s decline, but unless they directly tie into the volunteer’s tale, they’d be better kept for later. Because of my uncertainty, I’m lowering my grade. Overall grade: B

The art: Good work by Tyler Crook on this issue. I loved the devastation on the first four pages and the wide-eyed horror/wonder of the volunteer. There are a lot of “normal” things about this issue, but they all lead to weirdness, especially in the visuals. Of particular note for coolness are Pages 2, 9, 14, and 18. The most disturbing thing I’ve seen in some time is Page 18–It’s just yuck! Strangeness aside, I love the looks between Liz and the Doctor. Their visuals tell you early on how they feel, long before they vocalize them. A great looking book. Overall grade: A

The colors: With the exception of Liz’s hair and a one paged flashback, this is an overcast book. The world’s gone to hell and taken bright colors with it. Thematically this decision by Dave Stewart works, but I with it would have been brighter on other pages: the exteriors on 7 – 9 or the Salton Sea. Overall grade: B

The letters: Clem Robins provides solid dialogue and a few sound effects this time out, but I’m betting once Page 18′s artifact comes to fruition he’ll be doing much more. Overall grade: A-

The final line: I’m entertained but concerned about the focus. Overall grade: B

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s 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. He’s since moved to a high school where he taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th 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.

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