ADVANCE REVIEW! B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #2 will come out Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
The oldest and strongest emotion of man is fear. And the oldest and strongest fear is fear of mushrooms.
I’m not quite sure if I got that Lovecraft quote exactly correct, but it sums up my feelings on the matter. I have a deep and abiding mushroom phobia. I hate to even look at them. There is something about their squishy top and polypy nature that gives me a full-on attack of the heebie-jeebies. In B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #2, Mignolla and Allie back me up on this — mushrooms are pure unadulterated evil. Just look at that cover. Evil.
And there are some vampires. But we all know the vampires are just the slaves of the mushroom overlords, doing their dark mushroom bidding.
The second issue of The Pickens County Horror wraps up this two-issue miniseries about a vampire outbreak in Pickens County. But as you can see by the mushrooms, writers Mignola and Allie kind of threw a red herring at us in terms of the vampire uprising. Of course, the term "vampire apocalypse" gets tossed around — alluding to the pact made so long ago that kept vampires sleeping underground until the time came when they would rise and re-take the Earth. They are just a part of the plan, which seems to be much larger and go much deeper than suspected. And even some of the vampires aren’t quite traditional. "Gelatinous" is not a term normally used to describe vampires, but that is what we get here.
The Pickens County Horror is a self-contained story, but it also seems to be an appetizer for grander things to come. I still don’t know how this series is going to connect to the overall Hell on Earth storyline running through B.P.R.D. — or even if such a connection will be made. Most of the recent miniseries are personal character studies rather than grand sweeping adventures. I am assuming that, with hands like Mike Mignola and Scott Allie at the tiller, that there is some eventual destination. But I have no idea what that destination is.
Artist Jason Latour is workmanlike here, but not completely unimpressive. I liked his artwork more in the first issue, particularly how he drew the hillbilly vampire clan. In this second issue he doesn’t have as much to work with; there are some good scenes that shine but not so much overall. Even the King of Colors Dave Stewart is a little subdued here, He doesn’t give us the subtle scares like he did in the first issue with those yellow eyes.
All in all, The Pickens Country Horror was a fun little two-issue series. I am interested to see how (or if) it fits into the big picture, and if there are any clues here that I should be paying more attention to. I guess I will have to wait and find out when Hell on Earth reaches its climax.