Ah, Mike Mignola, how I love that dude’s work. It goes back a zillion and a half years to when a friend of mine, who is a cracking good comic book artist himself, introduced me to Hellboy. The art was a revelation and the characters and stories were so wonderfully weird and full of humor that I was instantly hooked. When Guillermo del Toro came out with the first Hellboy movie and Ron Perlman so embodied Big Red, we were over the moon because it was so frakkin’ much fun (I prefer to pretend that the second one doesn’t exist). So yeah, big Hellboy fan. All this to say that it’s not a big surprise that I dig what’s going on here with B.P.R.D. I am always down for more Abe Sapien, Liz and the beloved Roger.
In the Hollow Earth, there is a new member of the team, Johan. He was a medium that lost his physical body in a terrible accident while he was”elsewhere”. Thankfully he was able to keep himself together long enough for the B.P.R.D. to get him into a containment suit. His first mission is to accompany Abe and Roger on an expedition to find and rescue Liz, who has been working with a mysterious sect of monks, trying to better control her abilities. When the monastery is attacked by an ancient evil, Liz is taken and imprisoned. It’s a pretty thrilling rescue, with all the most frightening beasties, derring-do and humor I’ve come to love from Mignola. Ryan Sook’s artwork is outstanding.
The Killer in My Skull is a Lobster Johnson story and it took me a bit to get into it, but by the time the Lobster says “Surrender yourself to Detective Cooper or face the harsher justice of THE LOBSTER’S CLAW” I was sold. Abe Sapien Versus Science is another classic Mignola story, going back to origins and the constant struggle between the value of the work the doctors and scientists at B.P.R.D. do versus the “subjects” and their right to live and contribute to the world and the Bureau in that capacity as opposed to merely being dissected and studied. The humanity in these beings is always at the forefront of Mignola’s work and they are usually more caring, sympathetic and empathetic than many of the humans. I did not care for the art in The Drums of the Dead and the story was flat. But all in all, this is a good start.