ADVANCE REVIEW! B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Monsters #2 will come out on August 10, 2011.
This issue picks up right where the last issue left off. Liz Sherman is confronted by two crazy hillbillies, neither of which prove to be much of a challenge. Unfortunately, once Liz thinks she has a victory, it turns out she in even deeper trouble. And repeat, and repeat aaaaand repeat. It turns out that there’s a lot more to this than just two sadistic rednecks. Poor Liz never really catches a break this issue, not even really at the end. Not that she expects one. Liz’s sardonic humor and stern expressions really convey her frustration, but not surprise, at the fact that she has found herself in yet another dire situation despite trying her best to hide from it all.
A couple of the characters that were introduced last issue were fleshed out a bit more here. Not that I think they’ll become regulars or anything, but they were instantly likable, and added some nice “layman’s” perspective to contrast Liz’s understandably jaded reactions to the messed up situation they found themselves in.They also added a little humor despite the grim circumstances. Though this conclusion isn’t quite as, well, significant as I’d thought it would be, it is satisfying. I do still think this two parter is really just setting up the pieces for something much larger.
What makes this issue so great is just how well the story flows. While reading a book cover to cover in what feels like a matter of seconds might not sound like a good thing, it really is because it speaks to the quality of writing here. The tension just keeps growing and you know that any moment of respite is going to be short lived. One of my favorite scenes was Liz’s flashback to a moment of training that really helped her turn the tables on her captors. The line “Let that fall away, let the peace flow through you. That is when you succeed. All things are possible when you stop struggling.” is a great line that isn’t only significant to the immediate moment, but for Liz’s life in general. Once she accepts who she is and the world she’s apart of, anything is possible.
Liz is not the only B.P.R.D. regular that makes an appearance here. There are a few cut scenes that show us another favorite character in a pretty dire situation. I’m not familiar with the other characters (the ones who actually do all the talking) but they seem pretty invested in this character’s survival. The reveal at the end really bummed me out, and I hope we get some more information in the issues to come.
There’s not much to say about the art that I didn’t say in my review of the previous issue. I particularly loved Liz’s expressions as she went from pissed to cautiously optimistic to bewildered and back to pissed. Tyler Crook is perfect for this title, and I expect to see him working on more B.P.R.D. titles in the future. No matter who the artist may be, however, I plan on picking up more Hell on Earth titles. Mignola and Acuda are building something very interesting here. I have a feeling that these characters who’ve found themselves separated from each other will realize they are more connected than they thought.
Tristram Taylor lives in Scranton, PA. No, he does not work for Dunder Mifflin. He occasionally writes stuff at Delicious Zombie Food and can b