B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (Vol. 2): Gods and Monsters by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Tyler Crook (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), Clem Robins (letterer).

TB.P.R.D. Hell On Earth (Vol. 2): Gods and Monsters by Mike Mignola and othershis volume consists of two stories: “Gods” and “Monsters”. “Gods,” the primary story in this volume, introduces us to a great new character: Fenix, a sixteen-year-old girl who seems to be able to sense things before they happen. She is on the road as a runaway, but she befriends other teenagers on their own for various reasons. Given that she got them out of town before the last catastrophe hit, they trust her for her intuition to keep them ahead of impending doom, particularly in Houston, which was destroyed by a volcano. Fenix got her friends out of town at the last possible second.

Back at the base of operations for the B.P.R.D., Kate forces a sit-down conversation between Devon and Abe. Abe wants Devon fired because Devon has accused Abe of having role to play in the apocalyptic events that are happening around them in the world. Abe says he is simply scared of that possibility, and Devon tries fence-mending, but Abe holds his grudge. Still, Abe’s role in the apocalypse remains mysterious to us as readers. It continues to build suspense in the series. And Devon, we will find out, has not exactly fully accepted Abe as a non-threatening being.

At one point in the volume, a mad professor who lives at the base breaks into a meeting, ranting that Kate and the B.P.R.D. are all ultimately clueless. He gives them a rambling history lesson about the creatures that are both obvious and not so obvious in their attacks on the human world. This is one of my favorite sections of the book, and it helps show why so many love Mignola’s work: He creates sprawling myths that are larger than life and seem pervasive in so many ways that are not always clear to those who fight it, as do the B.P.R.D. This scene, in fact, warrants several reads.

The B.P.R.D. are alerted to Fenix’s presence as rumors of her second-sight continue to spread among young people, particularly her followers, of which there are more and more with each passing day. Abe and Devon go with a crew to seek her out, and when they find her, Abe confronts her and gets a very surprising reaction from her. Devon, dumbfounded, just stares at their interaction, of which I can say very little to avoid spoilers.

“Monsters” is an action-packed horror story about Liz, who has been on the run from the B.P.R.D. and is hiding out in a trailer park. Finding herself called on to help in a domestic argument, Liz ends up in a surprising situation, one that looks like it will be difficult to get out of. Luckily her skills as an agent come in handy. It is a story without a lot of development, but it’s certainly an interesting one about what people are willing to do in the chaos now prevalent in the world of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.

This is a great volume, and even though the second story lacks some development, it is well-told, and as always, Guy Davis’s art is more than adequate in conveying both the everyday interactions in the Bureau and the horror that they encounter in the world around them. Tyler Crook, though not quite as good as Davis, still has a style similar enough that it is not jarring to read the two separate stories. Though not quite a five-star book, it’s certainly close.


  • 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.

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