B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 10): The Devil’s Wings: Three apocalyptic stories

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Wings by Mike Mignola and othersB.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 10): The Devil’s Wings by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Laurence Campbell (art), Joe Querio (art), Tyler Crook (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Clem Robins (letters).

This volume includes several stories, the first of which is “The Devil’s Wings.” In this story, taking place at the B.P.R.D. Headquarters, the power goes out, and in the darkness, the mad professor in the compound studies by candlelight the report on Captain Breccan, a man around whom strange occurrences took place, with the death and madness of two men associated with him and his disappearance from a military jail. While the professor studies, Kate runs into her own problems in the main control room as contact with Johann in Japan is cut off and Panya, right next to her, seemingly vanishes.

In this story, we get a few flashbacks with Hellboy as a young child and Bruttenholm, and any B.P.R.D. featuring Hellboy is a welcome entry in the series, in my opinion. Hellboy does get to go out in the field, and he gets more action than he perhaps wanted to, intervening to save Bruttenholm’s life at just the last moment possible. These flashbacks are a part of the report the professor reads in the dark. Meanwhile, Kate is beginning to act peculiar, and Fenix and Liz are worried about her. Ultimately, we have another giant catastrophe at the base, and Kate’s problems are connected to the file the professor is reading. All is explained fully about Captain Breccan by the end of this two-issue story.

In “The Broken Equation,” we return to Johann in Japan. When the power went off in the previous story, Kate was talking with Johann; in this story, we pick up with that conversation, but from Johann’s position in Japan. So, the events in this story take place at the same time as the events in “The Devil’s Wings.” Three B.P.R.D. agents are looking for Ako Quantum Systems, and fight off monsters to find the bunker where Ako is run underground. The B.P.R.D. is told of Ako’s work in parallel realities, and are shown one project they have still running since one man, a professor Kukyo, has managed to enter a parallel reality and return. Unfortunately, something else is waiting to come through the portal, and when it does, Japan’s situation goes from bad to worse. Of course, as readers, part of the excitement is that we get some great scenes with giant monsters fighting it out with each other.

Finally, in “Grind,” we get a story from a regular citizen whose life has been completely changed by the monsters and apocalyptic events happening. He’s just a regular guy, Aaron, who has to walk to work every day, passing by previous friends who have died, particularly one woman who has a mushroom like creature/plant growing out of her dead body. Aaron delivers coffee to Liz and Johann and their team, and Johann promises to help Aaron out with the remains of his dead friend. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. However, we do get some more actions scenes with Fire Starter, the best ones since volume nine.

This volume contains three solid stories, but they are a little bit of a letdown after volume nine’s over-the-top action scenes. Still, it’s an interesting set of stories, particularly the first and the third. The second doesn’t get as much development as is needed, and though the third story doesn’t have much development, it does not need it. It captures a civilian’s life in the apocalypse quite well. Overall, I give this volume a solid four stars.


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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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