Earlier this year, “B.P.R.D.” rebranded itself “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth,” as part of an attempt to draw a line in the sand between the previous mini-series and the new one, letting readers know that a new series of story arcs had begun. It’s a smart move, letting people know that the book had shifted direction a bit and now was a good time to take a look.
So how was “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World”? Overall, enjoyable. First and foremost, let me say that if Guy Davis drew creepy monsters with tentacles and teeth for the rest of his life, I’d be pleased. The monsters in “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World” look appropriately dangerous and menacing, and watching them swirl around above our heroes is exactly what you want to see. Davis makes them even slightly terrifying after they’re dead, and I think Davis’s contributions to “B.P.R.D” in general should never be underestimated. From forests to secret bases, Davis nails every single scene and makes them look just about perfect, packing in detail and mood as approporiate.
John Arcudi and Mike Mignola’s story is also entertaining, although a lot of this final issue serves more as exposition than action. Still, once the immediate danger is gone, it’s the perfect place to finally explain just what the heck’s been going on over the previous four issues, and to also lay out some groundwork for the future. It’s the latter that I found the most interest. Unlike the previous “Plague of Frogs” storylines, “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World” doesn’t end with a new menace ravaging the planet. Instead we’re given some hints and teasers for what the nature of this new evil is, and how it will be arriving. There’s promise for this being in many ways much more dangerous and hard to defeat, and that’s exactly the right tactic for “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth.”
All in all, “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World” has served well as a new jumping-on point for the book. It sets up some new conflicts, and reminds us of some old ones. Best of all, I still have no idea whose side Panya is on. Or, for that matter, almost all the members of the B.P.R.D. right now. It’s hard to believe this is the 73rd issue of the various “B.P.R.D.” comics, but it’s to Arcudi, Mignola, and Davis’ credit that it still feels fresh and exciting. At the rate they’re going, I can see it going well beyond its 100th issue without missing a beat. Good stuff.