B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – The Devil’s Wings

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – The Devil’s Wings
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth The Devil's Wings review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Dark Horse - 978-1-61655-617-4
  • Volume No.: 10
  • Release date: 2015
  • UPC: 9781616556174
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Horror

After the full action blowout last time out, The Devil’s Wings combines the title story with two others each focussing on individual B.P.R.D. agents, with the writing team of Mike Mignola and John Arcudi again varying their forms of horror. Supernatural possession is followed by a massive Japanese monster homage, and then how a giant creature comes to affect a small town.

The latter is Tyler Crook’s farewell to the series, a smaller story than the other two despite the presence of a monster overshadowing the town. That’s because it’s only seen from a distance, while the focus is kept on one particular person affected by its presence, and the B.P.R.D. team under Johann Kraus sent to deal with it. It introduces a disturbing new threat also, perhaps only to be seen here.

Laurence Campbell’s murky style (sample spread left) is ideally suited to the puzzles of the title story which cleverly unfolds in two simultaneous sequences. In the present day Professor O’Donnell randomly picks an old file to transcribe digitally, which turns out to concern a traumatic early 1950s experience for Hellboy and a mystical serial killer. Meanwhile in the present Kate Corrigan begins behaving strangely to the team returning to base after the events of The Reign of the Black Flame. It’s a puzzle with a smartly conceived solution.

Gung-ho Agent Enos is explored even further in the following Flesh and Stone, but ‘The Broken Equation’ serves to build the personality as he accompanies Johann to Japan. The combination of spooky experimentation and Kaiju introduces new artist Joe Querio for his only B.P.R.D. outing, which is strange as it’s expressively drawn (sample spread right). It is an example of how the tone can change with the art, as Querio exaggerates the facial expressions, introducing a slight comedy element that may not have been intended. Otherwise the panels are detailed and he delivers the scale well.

Anyone who enjoys what B.P.R.D. has to offer without wanting to rush to the end gets good value here, and these stories are also found in the bulkier Hell on Earth 4.