on April 16, 2012
Kate Corrigan has got a crisis or three on her hands: The Wendigo has escaped. It and some GI Joe-lookin commando guy are running around loose in the B.P.R.D. headquarters. Bodies keep turning up all Jell-O-fied. And most of the elite members of the Bureau are incapacitated in one way or another, so Kate's not getting much help. Liz Sherman is in the midst of her latest nervous breakdown, plagued by nightly visions of batrachian apocalypse (I've been waiting for my chance to deploy that Lovecraftian adjective). Johann has become undependable after taking up residence in an Ahh-nold-like clone that Abe Sapien and Vic Daimio brought back from Indonesia. Johann, an ectoplasmic being, hasn't had a physical form in decades, and he gets carried away partaking in the pleasures of the flesh: weightlifting, barhopping with floozies, sexually harassing his female colleagues and eating hoagies bigger than yer damn head. And something has been making Vic edgy, skittish ... and really sweaty. My constant praise for the B.P.R.D. books may get monotonous, but the creators deserve it. "Killing Ground" is a particularly suspenseful volume in the series, the team dynamics are great, the foreshadowing is ominous and the ending provokes further thought. Mike Mignola and co. really don't give a guy much to gripe about.
on February 28, 2014
This is a very internal story, with the action hardly leaving the BPRD headquarters in Colorado. Johann Kraus is in a new body, having inhabited one of the spare Victorian empty bio-hulks from the Garden Of Souls project, and he lives life to the fullest with it. It’s amazing how much wry emotion Mignola, Arcudi and Davis can wring out of a bag of ectoplam in this amazing episode (and weird to see him flirting with Liz and Kate). Liz and Benjamin Daimio are still bickering, and Abe is moping elsewhere with demons of his own. Wow. The wendigo shows up, the jaguar god shows up, even a few members of Daimio’s former Bolivian jungle squad show up. Amazing. There’s also interesting forecasting going on, as characters pop up that will be significant later on, sometimes just for a single panel. Kate starts to get antsy, and Liz builds rapport with Panya, the revived mummy from the start of “Garden Of Souls”. Daimio’s Chinaman takes a new role (turns out he’s magic!), and there are all sorts of dream voyages, combined with gory, gory battles and – eventually – conversations with the dead. Friends or foes? Eventually we get a brief (and very welcome) guest appearance by another much-loved Mignola character, who takes charge and storms through the set doing what he does best. Love it! The structure of the tale is unusual, as we get the climax of the story in the fourth chapter, and in the fifth and final chapter anti-climax we get a bit of background. Oh well. It’s cool magic jungle stuff, demon knives, and all sorts of other nutty goings-on.
The writers have come up with a cool little whodunnit, with survivors trying to figure out who killed whom, and no real answers or resolution (yet). I think we’ll see the wendigo and the jaguar spirit (demons from the north and demons from the south) again.
The sketches at the end are good fun – they are mostly of the jaguar spirit, and they come blood-coloured. Nice
on October 13, 2008
This is one huge horror movie of a book. They get away from the frogs for a while to focus on some character development (Johan might be my new favorite guy) and to fight some monsters loose in the headquarters. There is the usual paranormal activity going on, but it's not the focus this time, just the backdrop. Lots of death and blood and gore, lots of people splitting up for the wrong reasons, lots of classic horror devices employed. It felt a lot like Aliens. Guy Davis' art is amazing as it always is. My only complaint would be the last issues that felt more like a summary than a wrap up.