B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 14): The Exorcist: Demon possession and missing children

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol 14): The Exorcist by Mike Mignola and othersB.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 14): The Exorcist by Mike Mignola (writer), Chris Roberson (writer), Cameron Stewart (art/writer), Mike Norton (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Clem Robins (letters).

Volume fourteen starts in the past with an exorcism of a woman taking place in East Africa in 1890 before jumping to the present with the attempted exorcism of a little boy. With Agent Ashley Strode present at the exorcism, the demon manifests and speaks directly to her, letting her know that the turmoil between Hell and Earth can be minimized if she can meet the demands made in the demon’s message. That demand leads her to an old man with a demon trapped inside him. Agent Strode works with this man to solve the problem of this demon possession. But the battle is not an easy one, and Agent Strode is called on to act swiftly to win the day.

Agent Strode gains experience in exorcisms and continues to learn on the job, becoming an essential member of the B.P.R.D., and we get to see her in action again in the second story in this volume. In this part of the story, we follow Agent Strode as she seeks out two brothers involved in the occult in a small town. And as she explores the town, she gets involved in a situation where backup would be of great use. But the suspense of the story is largely due to her going in as a lone gun to tackle the town’s problem with missing children. The problem is an unexpected one, and the solution is rather straight forward, but a twist to the story occurs right near the end as she seeks out the voice that keeps speaking to her, saying, “I hunger.” When she finds the source of the voice, we get another story of demons and the deals they make with corrupt human beings.

This is a great volume about a lone exorcist in the making. We get to see her experience her first exorcism and then watch as she gains experience and becomes quite a successful exorcist. Her battles are exciting, and the art is perfect for a Hellboy-Universe story. With the world literally going to hell at this time in the tales of the B.P.R.D., this volume gives us a close-up view of one B.P.R.D. member as she goes about her business of fighting the good fight. It is a needed break from the large-scale events going on, and the focus on a single character really allows this book to stand out as a top-notch volume in the series. This volume can be read as a standalone comic, but of course it works best to read all these volumes in order to get the larger picture being presented to us by Mignola.

 

 


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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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