BPRD books have the longest titles in the world (even with the abbreviated bureau name!), but the new “banner” for the series is called Hell on Earth. Everything up until now was the War on Frogs and now we’ve officially shifted with this mini-series into the ominous new phase. The first two issues of the mini-series seemed fairly standard considering that BPRD does nothing but investigate strange and creepy occurrences, but issue #3 is beginning to pull back the curtain on what Hell on Earth is supposed to mean.
The BPRD isn’t facing one threat in some remote location. Rather, the team is spread far too thin by events all over North America. Abe Sapien is still up in Canada with Ben Daimio on a case. Dr. Kate Corrigan is forced to rush off to investigate a “natural” disaster in Texas. Other field members are trying to track down every random occurrence that the U.N. thinks to investigate.
This issue in particular steps up the action into full on city destroying chase scenes. Mayhem abounds, and writers Mignola and Arcudi deftly mix big crazy action with numerous small storyline advances. There is plenty of mystery to pull the reader in and the writers handle scene changes seamlessly. By my count, there are three or four different storylines here that interweave and somehow still make sense.
Of course, it always helps when you have the art team of Guy Davis and Dave Stewart. Davis has such a rough, loose style, but his storytelling is always perfectly clear. There’s never any confusion on what is supposed to be happening, and his art style makes the big scary monsters even more unsettling. And Dave Stewart–well, he’s simply one of the best, and his work here continues to show why. The texture and depth he brings to both mountain scenery and monsters of the underworld are simply amazing.