Thursday, 14 January 2016

B.P.R.D, Volume 8: Killing Ground Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)

Darryl the Wendigo is brought into BPRD HQ for some reason and then somehow escapes his cell. Shortly after, mutilated corpses start appearing everywhere. BPRD are baffled. 

Killing Ground is a bit of a disappointing follow-up to the excellent Garden of Souls but it’s not a bad book. The main Alien-esque storyline (BPRD hunting a monster on the loose through darkened corridors) isn’t as straightforward as it seems especially after Daimio’s haunted past is revealed. There’s also a mysterious silent killer lurking within the compound – the book’s basically a whodunit – though how he was able to just walk right up to the gates and get in without anyone seeing him feels like lazy plotting. 

Liz is still having nightmare visions which is getting tiresome now as is seeing the overused trope of having the mystery revealed towards the end in one big infodump. It’s repetitive and formulaic to read. 

It was kinda funny to see Johann inhabit one of the Hyperborean vessels from Garden of Souls. It was like that Futurama Anthology of Interest episode where Bender briefly becomes human and indulges in excess – stuffing his face with too much food, hooking up with lots of women, going overboard with smoking and drinking. Johann is suddenly gifted sensations and something similar more or less happens. 

Guy Davis’ art is fine – at this point in the series, you know how you feel about his style and I’m not crazy about it but I don’t mind it either. I did like how Daimio’s Chinese mystic acupuncturist appears after being summoned through magic smoke. Dave Stewart’s colours are great though we’re back to the usual blacks and dark reds of the series visuals after the last book’s unexpected and welcome colourfulness. 

Killing Ground has some decent parts here and there but it’s not as exciting or compelling a read as I’d hoped after the last volume. Still vastly better than most of the Hell on Earth books though!

B.P.R.D, Volume 8: Killing Ground

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