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B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 4: The Devil's Engine & The Long Death Paperback – December 4, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MIKE MIGNOLA is best known as the award-winning creator/writer/artist of "Hellboy". He was also visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on both "Hellboy "and "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army "films. He also co-authored (with Christopher Golden) the novels "BALTIMORE, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier" "and the Vampire "and" Joe Golem and the Drowning City". Mignola lives in southern California with his wife, daughter, and cat.
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Product Details

  • Series: B.P.R.D. (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595829814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595829818
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The Long Death" was definitely my favourite of the two 3-issue stories collected in this volume. Johann leads a team of agents to British Columbia to investigate a spate of bloody killings carried out by a were-jaguar and former BPRD colleague, Daimio. But Johann goes prepared to stop Daimio's bloody rampage once and for all.

As good as the story is, the artist James Harren deserves special mention for his outstanding work, drawing what is one of the goriest BPRD stories I've read in a good while. He draws the Wendigo amazingly too, giving him this profound sadness in his silent panels, and the Wendigo's close-up expression on his face before fighting the were-jaguar? Extraordinary. The background art is beautiful too, he really captures the stillness and eeriness of the snowy woods at night perfectly.There is a massive fight between Wendigo and were-jaguar in this story that I didn't expect to be as epic as it was but Harren does a marvellous job with the action. The characters move on the page and I loved how Wendigo's movements seemed believable despite his figure being wholly unreal.

Not that "The Devil's Engine" is bad, it just isn't as inspired as "The Long Death". In this one Agent Devon is escorting Fenix and her dog, Bruiser, back to BPRD HQ but finds trouble when their train derails and some kind of spider monsters chase them in the middle of a desert. It's a testament to Mike Mignola and John Arcudi's storytelling abilities that they're able to take 2 characters, Johann Krauss and Agent Devon, who, when the series started out, were solely background characters but are now the leads of a book - and you care about them as much as you would if it were Hellboy and Abe in their roles. Johann especially is becoming more and more likeable.
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Format: Paperback
Mike Mignola has been an "artists' artist" since he first blew everyone away in the mid-late eighties, emerging from behind a Walt Simonson/Jack Kirby fusion with his now unmistakable atmospheric and angular chiaroscuro style. Just as he was becoming one of the biggest names in comics, with books like the 'prestige' format 'Batman: Gotham by Gaslight' tailor-made to showcase his brilliance and originality, he decided to jump ship. Leaving superheroes and the 'big two' for the creative freedom of Dark Horse, he joined Frank Miller and John Byrne as part of the 'Legend' imprint of creator-owned titles. When 'Hellboy' debuted, the strength of the art obscured the insecurities Mignola felt as a writer. The first mini-series, 'Seed of Destruction', was scripted by John Byrne, but 'Wake the Devil' saw a rapid development in his abilities as a storyteller, as he broke free of the assembly-line mind-set that reinforces a distinction between writers and artists at Marvel and DC. His honesty and utter lack of pretention has always been admirable, and from the start he explained 'Hellboy' as a vehicle for his obsessions with pulp fiction and gothic horror, with a reckless approach to plotting that was often decided by an urge to draw a giant ape with bolts in its neck (for example).

The scope and complexity of the 'Mignolaverse' grew exponentially when the BPRD and Hellboy went their separate ways. John Arcudi took the 'Plague of Frogs' storyline in exciting and always unpredictable directions, and Guy Davis emerged as a singular artistic force, with Eisner awards confirming the critical and popular acclaim he so richly deserved.
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Format: Paperback
Despair seems to be the theme running through the two stories in "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine and The Long Death." And people have good reason to despair. Hellboy is dead. Abe Sapien is shot and in a coma. The forces of evil reign on earth. The B.P.R.D. is looking to snatch whatever flowers of hope still bloom, to gather forces for a desperate re-match, and win some sort of final victory. But the odds don't look good, and you aren't going to find much hope in this comic, at any rate.

This collected edition has two unrelated 3-issue mini-series from the "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth" series, "The Devil's Engine" and "The Long Death." Both series continue a trend I have noticed in the last few "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth" mini-series. They are humanizing the cannon fodder. In the old days, when Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and B.P.R.D. Agent Billy Redshirt went on a mission together, the odds were pretty good (as in 100%) that Agent Redshirt's life was going to be short. The human arm of the B.P.R.D. seemed to be there mostly to provide appetizers or bait to whatever monstrosity the monster squad arm of the B.P.R.D. was batting. Not anymore.

With the major players out of action, the humans are having to fend for themselves. Sure, there are a few supernormals left, but they are few and far between and not the heavy hitters that Hellboy is. Now it is up to people like agent Andrew Devon to save the day, and he might not make it.

"The Devil's Engine" is a sequel to B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Gods and Monsters. The psychic homeless girl Fenix is being transported by to somewhere they can put her abilities to use.
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