B.P.R.D. (Vol. 3): Plague of Frogs by Mike Mignola (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), & Clem Robins (letters)
The B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs is the first extended B.P.R.D. volume since the first two volumes were collections of short stories. Plague of Frogs is a five-issue mini-series. The comic book opens with bloodshed: One scientist visits another to see the fast-growing fungus being watched at a facility. The visiting scientist, out of the blue, shoots the other man in the back, claiming that “the Master commands.” Security guards enter and shoot him.
Quite a dramatic opening for an excellent B.P.R.D. story. After this violent start, the comic shifts focus to Abe Sapien who is dreaming of being under the ocean watching an endless flow of dead bodies. We are given the impression that this is a dark premonition. He is still disturbed by the bad dream when he and the rest of the B.P.R.D. crew are called in to see the site of the shooting and the quite-likely supernatural fungus.
As Roger and Johann go in one direction to examine the facility in New Jersey, Abe and Liz go in another. With a bit of foreshadowing, Liz mentions to Abe that they know the origin stories of her, Roger, and Johann, but that they do not know Abe’s background. Abe’s story will end up being central to the entire B.P.R.D. series, so this volume presents crucial background for readers.
Before long, giant frog monsters appear, and we plunge fully into the story of The Plague of Frogs. And while the giant frog monsters point forward, they also point back all the way to volume one of Hellboy in Seed of Destruction where giant frogs put in an appearance. Sadu-hem is also mentioned at several points, tying this story to the larger Hellboy mythos, which is of great interest in this comic.
Plague of Frogs has plenty of action, a “doomsday-cult priest guy,” and an intriguing Rasputin appearance of sorts, all of which add up to a sense of weighty matters being dealt with in the book. This storyline doesn’t just deal with a monster-of-the-month creature. We get the sense that Mignola is really building to something grand and prophetic here. For that reason, primarily, I think this is a five-star volume. Also, throwing in several resurrections, Mignola tells a story that really is brilliant. I truly love this book, particularly the cryptic fifth issue, which is explained later in the series. Don’t miss this volume.