B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 12): Metamorphosis: Two stories featuring B.P.R.D. member Johann Krauss

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 12): Metamorphosis by Mike Mignola and othersB.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 12): Metamorphosis by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Peter Snejbjerg (art), Julian Totino Tedesco (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Clem Robins (letters). 

This volume consists of two stories. In the first, “Nowhere, Nothing, Never,” Johann has a crisis of sorts, and his team at the B.P.R.D. is turning on him, finding him responsible for mistakes that they feel should not have been made. He talks with Liz to figure out how she lives with the fact that she has killed a lot of people, but the conversation doesn’t go as well as it could. Thus, Johann makes an important decision and acts alone, releasing himself into the night air, giving himself a chance for death as far as we know at the end of issue number one in this story arc. But there’s more to the story than we first get. Kate forces a member of Johann’s team to give a report on what happened on the mission, and Johann’s crisis is explained: Not everyone made it out alive, and Johann is to blame. Issues two and three show how Johann deals with his failure. It’s a particularly disturbing mission, and we see someone die we’ve gotten to know in the previous volumes. But the story is a moving one, as we watch Johann deal with is inner demons. This story has great art by Snejbjerg.

In “Modern Prometheus,” we get the history of a giant suit of armor — formerly known as the Sledgehammer — that Johann wants to reassemble and use personally instead of his usual containment suits. This history of the armor is interesting and is given a lot of space in the story, though more of it is told in the volume by Mignola called Sledgehammer ’44. We find out about the previous military personnel who have worn, or inhabited, the suit. And we see the previous battle scenes during WWII in which the suit of armor was active. Meanwhile, Liz is in Panama, and the monsters overtaking the country are getting closer and closer to the B.P.R.D. base in Colorado. What will it take to stop the monsters before they are forced to evacuate the B.P.R.D. headquarters? Though the art in this story is not as good as in some other stories, there are a few scenes that stick out in a good way, but overall, I do not like Tedesco’s art as much as the previous artists who have worked on these Hellboy and B.P.R.D. books. As a result, I give four out of five stars to this volume.

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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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