B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 11): Flesh and Stone by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), James Harren (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Clem Robins (letters)

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Flesh and Stone by Mike Mignola and othersThere are multiple stories going on in this volume: Johann and Howards are on a clean-up mission for the air force, Iosif has a new suit made for him as his health is stabilized, and we get some background on Howards’s sword in the distant past, including one hunting scene with the ancient warrior who once had the sword. Back at headquarters, Liz is starting a garden with a little advice from Fenix. Zinco continues with its inhumane testing back in New York with the new Black Flame as ruler.

With Winter comes harsher conditions, and the battles against the monsters continue. Iosif and his associates work together to take down large monsters with massive explosives. Meanwhile, Enos, Howards, and his team go deep in the snow to seek out one particular monster that proves even more difficult than anticipated, even with the Air Force’s help. Not everyone will make it out alive.

Iosif continues to lament the state of Russia as the monsters take over the country. We find him confronting Varvara, who is still captured and held in an upturned, large glass bell in Iosif’s office. Varvara will continue to play a role in the B.P.R.D. series, but for now she is trapped and in Iosif’s control. Varvara is a demon in the guise of a child, and she is one of the best characters in Hellboy as she swings from the heights of excitement and enthusiasms to the lows of morose brooding and fierce anger. Humans are but toys to her. We know if she ever gets out, there will be hell to pay. And in the Hellboy universe, the day when she is freed is sure to come.

This is another solid volume, and unlike some of the other volumes before it, it is not simply comprised of a few short stories; instead, the volume takes its time developing the plot lines of this arc. We see a lot of battles from Johann, Enos, Howards, and their crew. We even get glimpses into the minds of Varvara and the Black Flame, who thinks about his connection with the larger forces at work in the Hellboy Universe. It is a satisfying volume overall, though the overarching plot of this series is not advanced that much. Mainly, we see that the B.P.R.D. continues with its fights against the monsters to save as many cities and even small towns as possible. It’s a solid four and half stars. It is perhaps not essential as a volume, but it is enjoyable to read.


  • Brad Hawley

    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.