Mike Mignola and John Arcudi bring fans another BPRD title this week with B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth - Russia #2. While the issue is book two of a five part story, it's technically issue #83 in the B.P.R.D. series; making this particular issue slightly more difficult to understand than the books that usually come from the Mignola/Arcudi team. The writers establish the setting early on, indicating that the story is set ten years previous in 2001 shortly after Hellboy quits the B.P.R.D. and draw the focus to agents Ken Corrigan and Johann Kraus who have gone to Moscow to meet with the Russian Occult Bureau.
The majority of the B.P.R.D. books set in the past don't feel like they are very easy to understand and jump into, however this one is slightly more complicated.
The story opens with a brief investigation in Indonesia and switches to the meeting between Kraus, Corrigan and the Director of the Russian Occult Bureau, Iosif. Iosif begins to reveal information about himself to Dr. Corrigan; dispelling where he had come from. It's interesting to see this part of the plot line connected with previous B.P.R.D. books; a detail which avid B.P.R.D. fans will appreciate, but written in a way that is easy for new readers to understand.
Initially, the interaction between Corrigan and Iosef is friendly, until Iosef displays some aggressive behavior and the people around him question whether or not the Director has lost his mind. At this point, prepare to be completely sucked into the story. Halfway through the issue Mignola and Arcudi suck you into their story, demonstrating to the reader exactly what Corrigan's potential is.
Tyler Crook's art is both intricate and detailed -- hard to believe this is possible, but it's true. The pencils are gorgeous and the colors are dark, matte and compliment the story incredibly well.
Nothing wrong here!
This issue of B.P.R.D. is truly beautiful. Everything from the pencils and colors to the structure of the story is just perfect. You will be at the edge of your seat reading this issue, wishing you didn't have to wait for #3. Incredibly interesting story that I cannot wait to see collected in order to appreciate it's true beauty.