Saturday, 6 June 2015

BPRD: Hell On Earth, Volume 10: The Devil's Wings Review (Mike Mignola, John Arcudi)

Hell on Earth’s subtitle really does the comic justice: hell HAS come to Earth! Unfortunately we’re 10 volumes(!) deep and I’m still struggling to even see any semblance of a plot. Monsters are roaming the Earth, destroying cities and the BPRD are failing to stop them. Ok... it’s really more of a background detail than a storyline.

Like most of the series, this volume is a collection of self-contained stories with the backdrop of this chaos. The Devil’s Wings sees Kate Corrigan possessed by a demon at BPRD HQ in Colorado; The Broken Equation is your average Japanese kaijus-battling-in-cities storyline; and Grind takes a look at a barista in Santa Fe adapting to life when a giant plant monster is settled just outside town and the BPRD visit to blow it up.

Monster battles and demon possession obviously aren’t original concepts but the stories were told pretty well. I wasn’t blown away by these comics but they held my attention and had some interesting scenes here and there. A cameo from kid Hellboy always helps too!

I really liked Joe Querio’s art on the kaiju story, mostly for the way he drew the strange old man wired into another dimension. I also liked that they’re spreading the action out across the world, this time partially in Japan, rather than just focusing on America – it’s hell on Earth, guys, look beyond your borders!

It’s good that there’s a mix of perspectives too. From giant monsters toppling skyscrapers, Grind focuses on an ordinary barista’s life, effortlessly switching gears and taking the horror from city-destroying events to a more personal level. It also shows the BPRD trying out different tactics – Liz Sherman is their ace in the hole but she can’t be everywhere at once, so they’re figuring out what to do when she’s not around. What better target than a seemingly benign plant monster?

They’re not amazing stories but, considering the last few volumes I’ve read in the series have been atrocious, The Devil’s Wings was a pleasant surprise for not being terrible! In the end, they’re mildly entertaining horror comics but I’ve certainly read worse from Mike Mignola and John Arcudi. The wait for Hell on Earth to really take off continues!

BPRD: Hell On Earth, Volume 10: The Devil's Wings

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