B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #118
By Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, James Harren & Dave Stewart
It’s that time again, but what more can we say about B.P.R.D. that we haven’t already? This series is consistently amazing month after month. It’s truly phenomenal how fresh and exciting the creative team keeps the book when you consider how many damn issues there have been. Standing tall at #118, the latest in B.P.R.D. somehow manages to further solidify Reign of the Black Flame as one of the absolute best story arcs in the whole series.
With the team of agents in New York last month, things got really crazy. In the latest installment, the action continues at top speed through the entire issue. This was a very exciting book that almost had a bit of a superhero vibe to it at times. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have continued to develop long-time Hellboy character Liz Sherman into a terrific addition and, like the series itself, Liz is the coolest she has ever been! Her major confrontation with the Black Flame continues as the two demonstrate just how much power they possess. Liz in particular is in control of her abilities like never before and she almost seems like a superhero now. The brutality of Iosif, another magnificent character, is on full display again as he manages to deal with the bad guys while holding his own guts in. Again, this was a very action-packed addition to the series, but it still managed to push the plot forward in some unexpected ways that we won’t spoil here.
The art team of James Harren and Dave Stewart is absolutely unstoppable. As always mentioned, Dave Stewart is one of the most important figures in comic books, but he is an absolute staple in the Mignolaverse. The visuals in B.P.R.D. #118 look very slightly different than recent installments with the same artists, but this was in no way negative. The overall style of this latest book felt subtly more “cartoony”, and less gritty. Again, this is simply a relative comparison to previous work and takes nothing away from the great visuals. In fact, this minor shift in tone was perfectly suited to the somewhat superhero feel of this issue, particularly during Liz’s starring scenes. Every panel is full of fantastic detail and interesting design. The monsters and other villains in particular look terrific. Once again, James Harren shows why he is the top B.P.R.D. artist, and matched with Dave Stewart’s detailed and vibrant colors, this is a beautiful book from start to finish.
It’s always great when writers can pull off such an action-heavy issue without detracting from the overall plot development, and B.P.R.D. #118 manages to do this with finesse. This was a damn exciting issue in one of the best series out there, and an absolute must-read for any fan of the Mignolaverse.