By Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Laurence Campbell & Dave Stewart
B.P.R.D. is back with another brand-new two-part story arc, The Devil’s Wings. As usual, this one is off to an incredible start. However, this may be one of the most intriguing, mysterious, and immersive issues in a while. This series has seen some big developments lately, but it’s nice to get back to a “smaller-scale” story like this one which, of course, still features a lot going on.
It seemed like there were many different aspects to this latest installment, but everything pulls together to convey the central mystery. It’s also nice to see Mike Mignola and John Arcudi giving Kate Corrigan more panel time, as she is the focus of The Devil’s Wings. The overly-odd B.P.R.D. scientist delving into the old files seems to have hit upon something particularly interesting. This mystery is also followed via excellent flashbacks of young Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm in 1949, as they trail a strange military case involving the occult and bizarre paranormal occurrences. Everything converges on Director Corrigan as she involuntarily enters a pretty wild situation of her own. The “Corrigan in the dark” sequence was one of the most immersive, engaging, and subtly suspenseful moments in the series and executed with masterful precision. It was also very interesting to see hints of other corners from the Mignolaverse cropping up throughout this issue, including Pandemonium and the Sledgehammer suit.
Fan-favorite artist, Laurence Campbell, delivers some terrific visuals throughout B.P.R.D. #120. The overall style has a raw, gritty feel to it, while still remaining quite detailed and often fairly realistic. There is a fantastic amount of detail littered throughout each panel. The artwork also really enhanced the suspenseful, horror sensibility with some very captivating sequences. Dave Stewart’s colors, as usual, enhance both the overall depth and the tone of each scene. The old-timey look in the flashbacks, the darker supernatural images, the creepier horror elements, everything is made more atmospheric and engaging with the deep colors and excellent illustrations throughout.
The latest installment of B.P.R.D. was yet another incredible addition to this always-amazing series. This particular issue felt quite different from the more recent story arcs which preceded it, but it was a great change of pace that resulted in an immensely enjoyable reading experience. Even though this is only the first part of the Devil’s Wings arc, it seems as though it’s already safe to say it’s a shame this one will be a short two issues.