Sunday, 20 December 2015

B.P.R.D., Volume 11: The Black Goddess Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)


The BPRD’s search for Liz Sherman takes them to a hidden Shangri-La on the Russian/Chinese border where a sorcerer called Memnan Saa plans to weaponise Liz’s untapped powers to save the world from the frog army. Cue big kaiju fighting and lengthy exposition! 

My favourite BPRD books were the ones not heavily associated with the Plague of Frogs storyline (which went on for waaaayyyy too long). Unfortunately, The Black Goddess is all about this dreary plotline. Y’see, these frog monsters are invading and… that’s it. We gotta stop ‘em cos we don’t got a series without it? 

Liz Sherman: the more I read about this character the less I like her. She’s a Jean Grey knock-off - a redhead pyro-psychic who could potentially destroy the world - who frequently goes missing and has to be rescued. And just when the BPRD need a miracle to save them and Hellboy’s not around, Liz develops a new superpower and voila - deus ex machina! Both things happen here.

Abe Sapien’s acting out of character. He used to be the smart one who thought before he acted; now he’s the first one to whip out a gun and wave it around, yelling that he’s gonna blow someone’s head off! I also don’t understand Lobster Johnson’s appeal - have you read his solo comics? Blargh. Cornball pulp drivel. 

Want to know about Memnan Saa, the evil sorcerer who’s important in this one book and never mentioned again? You don't got a choice because you’re gonna hear his full life story and none of it’s interesting! Want to see page after page of pointless kaiju action? No? Too bad because something’s gotta fill out this book! 

Guy Davis’ art isn’t bad - I like his landscapes and the visuals for Shangri-La are cool, as is his character design of Memnan Saa - but too many of his characters look awful and scratchy. I’ve never been a fan of his work and his art in this book didn’t change my mind. 

The Black Goddess is a dud. Besides seeing the creators rehash familiar tropes, they fail to make the end of the world seem interesting. The Plague of Frogs storyline was so blah but at least after this volume it’s almost over.

B.P.R.D., Volume 11: The Black Goddess

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