By Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Joe Querio & Dave Stewart
The latest arc in B.P.R.D. has begun with The Broken Equation part 1. This issue brings us back out into the field as Johann Kraus and other agents deal with another dire situation. These quick stories told by the series lately keep things moving along from all angles of the plot and allows the story-telling to vary within a particular range. This latest addition has things off to a particularly intriguing and exciting start.
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi never cease to amaze as, month after month, they continue to put out multiple books of terrific quality, while always keeping the stories interesting and different. B.P.R.D. #122 again feels quite relative to some of the recent arcs in this series, and at times calls back to the type of mystery told through much earlier installments in Plague of Frogs. On a more personal note, as someone with a background in neuroscience and consciousness research, the plot in the latest installment was particularly interesting and engaging, not to mention very well written. Issue #122 also has a subtle classic sci-fi feel to it, while still maintaining the horror edge the series is known for. This book could have some major implications for the B.P.R.D. which none of us may have seen coming.
Artist Joe Querio makes a return to the Mignolaverse after a brief stint with a Lobster Johnson short. It should be noted right up front that this guy’s work is a phenomenal fit for B.P.R.D. Every aspect of the visuals is perfectly consistent with the more typical stable of Mignolaverse artists. While the overall consistency was greatly appreciated, this doesn’t take anything away from the unique features Querio brings to the table. The action has a very interesting visual flow that keeps each scene feeling suspenseful. As with any B.P.R.D. book, this one features great overall character design and background detail. As always, staple colorist Dave Stewart makes the illustrations even better with his excellent work. The general tone and setting of each scene is well-conveyed through the perfectly selected palette, while still appearing vivid and full of life.
This was a surprisingly exciting new turn for this long-running series that will intrigue fans both old and new. B.P.R.D. #122 could also open up some crazy new directions for the series, or at least for the current story. Either way, this one is shaping up to be another great addition to an always fantastic series.