B.P.R.D. (Vol. 7): Garden of Souls by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), & Clem Robins (letters)
B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls starts in London in 1859 at the scene of a mummy “unrolling.” Langdon Caul puts in an appearance, and as those who have been reading the B.P.R.D. series up to this point know, Abe Sapien and Caul are the same person, so the presence of Caul is central to the overall story. And the mummy’s unrolling leads to quite a surprise . . .
In the present of the story, we check in with the main B.P.R.D. team: Daimio is receiving a mysterious treatment privately in his room. Liz seems unable to connect with anyone, though she tries, first with Abe and then with Kate. Kate is healing from the events of the last volume, and Abe is still haunted by his past and refuses to discuss it, even when Liz asks directly about it. Johann continues his obsession with the fourth-level subbasement. Overall, in the first issue of this arc, we get a fragmented series of scenes that offer a start to the volume that is difficult to get engaged in. We have to wait until issue two before the events of the story really start to move forward.
Issue two starts in Indonesia with Abe and Daimio heading out together on a mission that Abe is secretive about. This mission, as Daimio wonders, is more of an Abe Sapien mission than a B.P.R.D. mission, so after keeping him in the dark for a few days, Abe finally tells Daimio his past as Caul. The rest of the volume will reveal fully what it is they seek.
Meanwhile, Liz, trying to find some semblance of normal life, continues to be haunted in her waking hours by the strange man we met in earlier volumes. He remains mysterious in his communications except he shows her a horrific vision of the future that he claims will definitely come true no matter what she does. Liz doesn’t know what to make of it or what to do about it.
Garden of Souls is another great entry in the B.P.R.D. series, and this volume is certainly a five-star comic. Its strength is in the story about Abe. We get some important answers to the questions raised in the beginning of the volume. Even though Hellboy is not in this book, Garden of Souls is certainly an essential volume in the overall story of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Don’t miss this one.