B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth (vol. 8): Lake of Fire by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Tyler Crook (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Clem Robins (letters)
The B.P.R.D. is running missions to try to save people from the apocalyptic events happening around the world. They’ve lost to the monsters in England and in multiple large cities in the U.S., so at the moment they are focusing on trying to get into New York and launch some rescue missions. We follow some of the B.P.R.D. agents who are going into New York, including Howards with his mystical, mythical sword with which he is deadly. But in this volume, we don’t yet get to see this mission launched. We see only the preparations. We also see that the B.P.R.D., with the help of the Russians, is starting to investigate Zinco, which is based in New York.
Liz is in a hospital and trying to recover from injury from a collapsed building. She’s been bedridden for two months. She’s not revealed that she’s a part of the B.P.R.D., and so at the hospital, she’s just considered another patient in need of treatment. She also has not contacted the B.P.R.D. to let them know she is alive. She barely survived trying to take down the Black Flame, who, unknown to Liz and the B.P.R.D., has been brought back to life by Zinco. A new doctor, Clyburn, takes the place of the old doctor who was treating Liz, and he has some strange new ideas about healing patients that may be more dangerous than helpful. And when he corners Liz one night, she may not make it out alive.
Fenix is traveling, alone except for the presence of her dog, Bruiser. We get quite a few flashbacks to Fenix’s childhood, so her character is given more development as we find out that her “powers” of premonition have been around since she was a small child. She runs into pilgrims who journey to worship a giant egg left behind by the monsters. She meets a kind man, Bob, who has hoarded food and water to live out the apocalypse, and he gets her to face up to the facts of her past. With his help, she is able to make some positive progress moving forward.
Mignola and Arcudi weave these three storylines together in addition to exploring other ideas: For example, we get to see how religious figures deal with the “end times” that everyone assumes are here now. It’s an exciting volume and a lot happens to move the overall B.P.R.D. story forward. Some members return to the B.P.R.D. fold by the end of the book. It’s a definite five-star volume in the Hellboy saga.
I’m worried about Liz!
As you should be! Liz has her own personal journey in this series–she’s not always a part of the team.