Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Julian Totino Tedesco
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Laurence Campbell
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 07/15/2015
Following on from the last mini arc, Johann is intrigued with the idea of having better armour and starts by examining the Sledgehammer armour, which has its own secrets to hide.
This issue is the kind of issue that frustrates a certain kind of reader. The inception of the last arc, showed a dissension in the ranks following Johann’s actions. If, like me, you are the type of reader that prefers character pieces, you may feel a little disappointed with this issue as the ongoing distance between members of the B.P.R.D remains in place, in fact it is practically ignored. However, there are enough nods towards Johann’s implied reasons for using the armour that adds to the mystery. Coupled with the fact that the armour itself has a certain undercurrent of mysticism about it, you can bet your bottom dollar it is more than just plain old armour.
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are certainly world building with each arc seemingly pushing towards something. The problem is that with so many unresolved elements left hanging they are trading on the patience of the reader. I for one am ok with this at the moment, but it is good storyteller who knows when enough is enough and delivers some answers or at least conclusions. Script wise, Johann is his normal self, showing that as ectoplasm, he appears to be uncaring of humans and is looking out for number one, namely his protection, despite the obvious care and attention he actually receives.
The art is by Julian Totino Tedesco and I have to say fits the standard of the book well. This however doesn’t mean its fantastic. There is a definite house style when it comes to this book and that’s all well and good as everyone involved is creating a universe, but the downside is that it stops uniqueness shining through. Along with the art style it almost goes without mention the, yet again, fantastic work by Dave Stewart which adds to the overall feel of this book and others in the Mignola-verse.
B.P.R.D is one of those books that a couple of months ago I was raving about. The first time I picked up a copy was to review it. Since then, for me, the book has had a couple of high points and as such, I am willing to wait to see how this current mini-arc finishes. If its like its predecessors, that may mean a meandering monster of the week book, ending without any character conclusion. With the news that Arcudi is leaving the book next year, I would hope that we are going to see a satisfying end to the various dangling plots prior to his departure. Either way, I am still on board for the ride.