B.P.R.D. (Vol. 4): The Dead by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), & Clem Robins (letters)
B.P.R.D.: The Dead is the second main arc of the B.P.R.D. series since the first two volumes were collections of short stories. The Dead advances the plot started in B.P.R.D. (Vol. 2): Plague of Frogs. In this volume, we find out that the frog cults continue to spread, moving quickly and resulting in the deaths of many people. The B.P.R.D. so far has not had any luck in stopping them. While Roger, Liz, and Johann are back at the bureau worrying about the frog monsters, Abe and Kate go in search of the history of the man Abe saw in his vision in the fifth, and last, issue of Plague of Frogs. In doing so, they uncover more of Abe’s past, another tie to the first Hellboy storyline, and a haunted house.
This comic introduces a new character to join the B.P.R.D. team: Benjamin Daimio, a former Marine Captain. He is the Nick Fury-figure of the series. He also has an interesting history, but what is perhaps even more fascinating is that before he joined the team, he was dead, something he has in common with the rest of the team, including Liz, Roger, Abe, and Johann. They are all resurrected figures. Daimio seems to want to fit into the group as their new leader (with Abe and Kate gone), but he does insist that Roger be equipped with a pair of pants.
The team relocates from Connecticut to Colorado where there is an old, unused military base. It’s such a large base, much of it is closed off and unexplored by the reconfigured team. Johann, hearing something strange, leads Liz and Roger down through the levels of the new facility until they end up finding a strange man — Gunter — hiding in one of the subbasements. Gunter’s background ties to the Hellboy storyline since he was around during Project Ragnarok — the project that helped bring Hellboy to Earth. His story is an important one, and he continues to be a mysterious figure in the present.
The story is divided into various plotlines that weave together nicely. Abe seeks answers to his past life, Liz tries to get used to a new leader, Johann is doing unexplained research in their new base of operations, and Gunter seems to be up to something sinister. All the plotlines are interesting, and at no point do any of them drag. I also like the new dynamics created by adding Daimio to the team. He has great interactions with an angry Liz and some funny conversations with Roger. As always, there is plenty of action. And with fantastic art and colors by Guy Davis and Dave Stewart, B.P.R.D.: The Dead is another five-star volume.