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Thursday, May 7, 2009

B.P.R.D. The Warning. Mike Mignola, John Arcudi (Writers), Guy Davis (Art), Dave Stewart (Colours), Clem Robins (Letters)

This story arc does something relatively unusual in comics, particularly where there is an extended continuous storyline already in existence, it escalates the threat in the story logically and effectively while still maintaining the threads of the storyline. Placing the cast in danger is straightforward, what requires considerable planning and creative flexibility is to have existing threads within the story line dramatically develop in a compressed period without having the appearance of haste. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi manage this with considerable skill, they take off from the cliffhanger ending of "Killing Ground" and proceed to execute a body swerve that raises the stakes to a global level. The cast continue to evolve and respond to rapidly changing circumstances in very natural ways, they are becoming considerably tougher and more determined. They have truly emerged from Hellboy's shadow and become experience fighters in a brutal and uncompromising struggle against powerful and determined enemies. The range of those enemies is underlined in the book as more and more emerge to stake their claim to the Earth and to move against humanity.
Guy Davis captures the scale of the battles as a major city is pounded by an unexpected invader, a partial victory that seems to show the way to future defeats is the bitter result. At the same time as the huge drama fills the pages, the cast are as engaging as ever and the troubles that each have are engrossing. They give a critical context to the conflict they are involved in, through them we can see what could be lost if they fail or falter. The use of continuity within these stories is remarkable, details that echo previous stories or pick up threads that had appeared to be forgotten so that past events can bee seen to have cast shadows forward, add to the depth of the story rather than strangle it. A superb episode in an extraordinary unfolding story.

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