B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: New World (#1 – 5, B.P.R.D. #69-73) – John Arcudi, Mike Mignola

4 out of 5

Cluttered, but a wonderful leap forward in B.P.R.D. world-building – collecting Arcudi story scraps and formalizing them in the wake of the wrap-up of the more Mignola-helmed plotlines in the preceding arcs – and really selling the new ‘Hell On Earth’ subtitle.

We bop around for a bit at B.P.R.D. with Johann, Kate, Panya, and others, as New World establishes the constant sense of calamity that the world now seems to be in, with our supernatural investigators trying to balance being UN lapdogs with actually trying to solve things.  To that extent, Abe – in my most beloved, gruff, take-charge no-fucks-given Arcudi mode – goes off on his own, reading reports that make him curious if he might run in to an old associate…

Which he does, along with a frightening new evolution on the creepy crawlies emerged from the planet’s nethers and elsewheres.

Guy Davis is almost too sketchy, at points, due to the burden of drawing a lot of tentacles mixed with a ton of dead bodies and surrounding forests, but his characterizations are, as always, on point, and sketchy or not, you get a full sense of the intensity of what’s happening from page to page.  And while that roundabout checking in on everyone is what makes the first couple of issues here rather cluttered, they also offer a ton of points of interest regarding our other featured B.P.R.D. members, definitely doing the job of interesting us in what’s to come.

A satisfying kick-off to the second era of the title.