Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Comic Review: B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs 2

    The war with the frogs is on and it’s ugly.  The team gets a new mountain base, with its own dark secrets of course.  Abe learns about his past, while another character finds his path, and carries it to the end.  This second massive volume of B.P.R.D. is much more cohesive and directed than the first, and drives the action like the proverbial freight train.

    Book One, The Dead introduces the new mountain base in Colorado, and the resurrected military man Daimio.  It also sees Abe travel to Rhode Island in search of his past.  As Abe learns about his origins, and about his life before entering the container he was discovered in, the team back at the base learns about the secrets held within their new mountain home.  And all the while, hints of the spreading frog horror crop up.

    Book Two, War on Frogs is a bloody ramping up of violence and terror.  As teams clean out unending nests of the monstrous amphibian creatures, casualties pile up.  And of all people (is a homunculus a person?) Roger steps up to the plate as Abe looses his nerve.

    And finally with Book Three, The Black Flame the writers prove they’ve got the guts to shake things up.  This isn’t one of those comics that continues to maintain the status quo, with this arc, the status quo is soundly broken up.  By the end, the team is different, the world is different, and there’s no going back.  The business with Liz and her dream-guide is intriguing.

    The volume contains the usual essays by some of the folks involved, and a nice selection of sketches and notes.  I’m impressed that this series has managed to strike out on its own while remaining true to the Hellboy comics that spawned it.  The art, like the writing, is more consistent in this volume than the first, though on occasion it’s still a touch spotty.  A great deal is promised and glimpsed, a few things answered, and the clock set forward.  Fans of Hellboy should check out the series, but also fans of Lovecraft or the X-Files may take note.

B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs 2
Authors: John Arcudi, etc.
Artists: Guy Davis, etc.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
ISBN: 978-1-59582-672-5


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