Friday, November 9, 2012

Comic Review: B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs 3

    In the aftermath of the rather climactic and dramatic events of volume 2, those still standing try to come to terms with the loss of a key team member as well as the nearly unfathomable devastation.  The volume as a whole feels like a lull in the storm, even though some pretty major things happen.  The steamroller of the Frogs has backed off, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more danger out there.  The art is still pretty hideous, but it somehow works with the series.

    The first story, The Universal Machine, feels more like a traditional Hellboy story, with a couple agents in a spooky European town and a sinister figure of mystery looking to take something important.  In the meantime, Daimio, Abe, Liz, and Johan sit around and swap stories about their experiences with death.  Abe’s story, about an adventure he once had with Hellboy, introduces one of the most pathetic monsters I’ve ever seen, Daryl.  He's so, so sad.  With his blood beard.

    Garden of Souls, the second story, features more of Abe’s forgotten past and introduces a very strange and interesting character, Panya.  The stuff with Abe’s pre-fish man friends and their plans to save elements of humanity is great.  Their mad science, from blended creatures to mechanical life support bodies, is awesome.

    And then Killing Ground kicks the team in the teeth, and stomps on its nick while it’s down.  Betrayal of self, of emotion, of body.  Whom do you trust?  When the dust settles from this, the team will once again have a new shape.  Some things can’t be fixed.  There are, of course, still questions.  There are always questions, I suppose.  Like, what was up with Lobster Johnson’s ghost showing up and magic-shooting Liz’s bad dreams away with his ether pistols?

    The apocalyptic dread still hangs about the series.  It’s interesting that both Hellboy and B.P.R.D. seem to be building to some kind of world changing Armageddon, but the shape of each appears to be different.  Will Hellboy become the Beast of the Apocalypse, or will the gods perch upon the rubble of human society while the frogs crawl beneath.  Can the end be thwarted, even in part?  Or is the end inevitable?

B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs 3
Authors: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Guy Davis
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
ISBN: 978-1-59582-860-6


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