Current Reviews


BPRD: Plague of Frogs #1

Posted: Saturday, March 6, 2004
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artists: Guy Davis, Dave Stewart(c)
Publisher: Dark Horse

Hellboy once belonged to The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and when he left, the odd entities that stayed included Abe Sapien a Gill-Man, Roger the Homunculus, Johann a spirit and Liz Sherman a pyrokinetic. Led by the human operative Kate Corrigan, these unlikely heroes investigate and thwart numerous occult menaces that intend to destroy humanity.

I have stated this before. Save for Mike Mignola himself, no artist does justice to Mr. Mignola's writing. His truly unique style, which eerily swathes panels and panels in black to achieve the proper mood, cannot be duplicated.

Guy Davis does a good job interpreting Mr. Mignola's words. While his opening scenes with typically dumpy, mole-like Davis characters--almost straight from the wings of Sandman Mystery Theatre--do not exactly suit Mr. Mignola's style, his latter scenes in which the B.P.R.D. investigate the storage facility of a hospital fit very well with the writer's intent.

The creative duo is an odd combination. Whereas Mr. Mignola lives in dark edges and shadowy glimpses, Davis more often than not exposes all to light and prefers more detail to Mignola's streamlined less. A case in point can be found in the uniforms of the B.P.R.D. Davis prefers a rougher look than Mignola would ever have given. This bias too can be seen in the texture of Liz's hair and Kate Corrigan's features. It's not incorrect. It's not jarring to anybody who has ever seen Davis' previous work, and it's certainly not bad. It's simply different.

Mr. Mignola's story once again embarks into Cthulhu territory, and there's probably no better writer in the business to delve into the mad clockwork universe of H.P.Lovecraft. Abe's dream ties into what appears to be the Deep Ones, and the head threat--pun intended-- spores from Lovecraft's space fungi.

While in truth I would have preferred Mike Mignola had done the story and art on B.P.R.D., Guy Davis makes a suitable if unexpected substitute. The attitude of the B.P.R.D., and the moodiness fairly kept by Mr. Davis almost sends a chill up one's spine.

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