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B.P.R.D. – Hell On Earth: Monsters #1

I don’t read a lot of B.P.R.D. and the last issue I read was a very revealing origin story for Elizabeth the Pyrotechnic. This issue has her on her own and away from the B.P.R.D.  and living in a trailer park with two random dudes. She comes home to find a poker game in her kitchen and is really pissed off about it, so pissed that she kicks one of the players in the mouth. After that everyone clears out pretty quickly and Liz decides to head to bed leaving the two remaining men to clean up the blood and mess.

She may be out of the B.P.R.D., but they aren’t out of her dreams. She’s haunted by memories of people she’s worked with including Hellboy and the Professor. In typical dream fashion her father suddenly shows up and with his dead eyes he stares at her and begins making a strange noise which turns out to be the rain hitting the aluminum roof of the trailer. It’s poker night in the trailer park again and the big guy with the broken jaw is hosting. His friends have some reservations about going over, but decide that due to his recent embarrassment that he needs friends now more than ever. That is until they see him holding a gun on his old lady. They decide to get Liz and she if she can handle the big man again. She reluctantly helps and continues her perma bad mood as she walks over to the trailer, unfortunately she’s in for a big surprise when she gets there.

18774.jpgThis issue was strange and humorous all at once. You want to like Liz due to the fondness for her character, but then she acts like the biggest asshole on the planet making it hard to feel sympathy for her. That is until we see her dreams and realize that she’s a very haunted person and doesn’t know what to do other than be sad for herself and take it out on those around her. It’s still hilarious to read her interaction with people and that fact that she kicks a guy in the jaw after only one exchange of dialog is completely awesome.

Mignola and John Arcudi continue to be a great writing team as they build on the world of Hellboy in new and interesting ways. I love that this is in a way, a follow up to the last series of B.P.R.D. and that it continues the story of Elizabeth. The story and storytelling is very solid and nothing out of the ordinary. It’s not amazing, but it has a great cliffhanger that will leave the reader waiting for the second issue.

This issue marks the first drawn by new B.P.R.D. artist Tyler Crook. Crook's big debut hasn’t actually released yet, but we covered a lot of it at this year’s Wonder Con. Crook’s style is good, but I don’t know if I’m in love with it yet. At times it’s full of detail, but other times it’s lacking or overly simplistic. Crook manages to stand out from the typical Hellboy-verse artists by really staying true to his own style which no one should have a problem with. Colorist Dave Stewart is amazing as always, but even he seemed to color this book differently than a typical B.P.R.D. or Hellboy book.

Overall it’s an interesting story and not bad at all for a two issue series. It really comes across as filler before the next big B.P.R.D. storyline hits, but unlike other series this filler is worth the read. Also it’s a good chance for Crook to adjust to the art duties and try to find a balance between his style and the familiar look and feel of the book. The atmosphere is half of what makes the Hellboy-verse interesting and the art for this book isn’t there quite yet.



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