REVIEW: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #131

Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Peter Snejbjerg
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 05/20/2015

The secret is out, or at least one perspective of it.  Thanks to Johann’s actions  at the end of the last issue, Kate manages to confront Agent Nichols and get his version of events which have caused so much discord in the unit.

I have been looking forward to this issue, especially as it will give fans a chance to understand one of the most popular characters in Mignola’s  universe of horror, Johann Krauss.

The scene is a stand-off in Kansas, against the B.P.R.D. and civilians who are hiding a monster in an abandoned swimming pool.  Gunshots are fired at the B.P.R.D. and in the ensuring discussion, a course of action is taken at the cost of an agent’s life. From there Johann, takes the kind of action that shows not an evil side, but in fact a desire to save lives and save them quickly.  It is the fact he shows no awareness of the impact of his actions that emphasize the disconnect of human emotions when completing an inhuman act, regardless of intent. Who is right? Is it Agent Nichols? Is it Johann? Is it right to complete the immoral even if it is done for a moral reason?  These are questions that Mike Mignola and John Acudi quite brilliantly weave into their story. As always, the writers seem to be in control, with no wasted panel or script. The issue is lacking the humour of the last couple of issues, but doesn’t suffer from it, instead the lack of the funny helps to focus the seriousness of the situation for all involved.

Art by Peter Snejbjerg is as solid as ever, giving the book a consistent feel as does the work of colour maestro Dave Stewart, whose work here is a little flat in comparison to his work on other Dark Horse projects. That may be because this book, with this issue particularly, doesn’t convey the horror element you may expect. That’s not a bad thing, the fact Stewart is flexible is a huge benefit, meaning the quality of his work can grace a number of different books.

All in all, another strong issue is this strong series, which shows no signs of slowing down, regardless of the ever-growing Mignola led horror universe that Dark Horse is so good at producing.

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