Damn Those Frogs!


BPRD has become one of those soap opera comics where characters come and go, and those that readers thought dead return from the dead.  It’s also a series that has had some very major arcs, that at times seem disjointed from one another until the doo-doo meets the spinning prop.  The Black Goddess series started off as a story yanked from a different time, but by issues end, it all comes together George Peppard style.

blackgoddess02cover.jpgLiz Sherman has been missing and presumed dead since the run in with the big spooky bad guy, but her fellow teammates have kept hope alive, and have tracked Gilfryd to the Himalayas and presumably the lost city of Shangri-la.  Abe, Johann, and Kate Corrigan aren’t making the journey alone, as they’ve brought an entire army to back them up.

It’s a pretty trippy journey as Abe’s heroic side emerges from his oft stoic side, and let’s loose as he tries unsuccessfully to get Liz back from Gilfryd’s grasp.  She seems pretty content, deep in meditation, and oblivious to her friends arrival.  There is a great deal of Eastern mysticism present in the story, and because of the events that just took place in B.P.R.D.: The Warning, there seems to be a disconnect between the stories. That is until Gilfryd tells the group that he and Liz are the world’s only hope.  It’s at that moment, the frogs and denizens of Hyperborea attack the city, leaving the army and band of monks to fend off the attack.

It’s at this moment where the issue click and the themes and arcs from other tales finally come together in an explosive climax that causes the reader to wonder how anyone will be able to escape the carnage.

While I enjoy comics that are steeped in continuity, lately the B.P.R.D. series is getting to the point, where readers need to memorize every minor detail, in every issue, in order to understand everything that is going on.  It’s almost to the point where new readers are going to have a difficult time jumping on board the series, because everything now builds upon what has gone on before.  Still, the Black Goddess story is entertaining, as readers are presented with a new chapter in the life of Liz and Abe.  By the end of this series, expect something to happen that will truly change the dynamic of the team, once again.

Guy Davis’s art continues to be spectacular, as he able to show the gruesomeness and creepiness of all the things that go bump in the night.  It’s a perfect compliment to Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s writing.  While I’m still a bit troubled by the deep plot threads and side stories that are required knowledge when reading this issue, it is still a very good issue worthy of a 3 Star Rating.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mr. Schleicher. (Or is it Dr. Schleicher?)

    I like your review of the latest isssue of BPRD, and I quite agree with your sentiment that the BPRD/Hellboy universe is very continuity-driven, perhaps to its own detriment. I’m perfectly willing to live with it, though, especially since the number of titles you have to keep up with is relatively few — and you know that one guy is in charge of the whole the thing, which gives the reader a lot of confidence that if he goes digging through the back stories to find a clue about something, it’ll probably be there, and it’ll probably make sense, and it’ll probably be consistent with the other stories and the other books. So I’ve really got no complaints about Mignola’s universe outside of the fact that it might be kind-of hard for a newbie to jump in and enjoy it.

    One other note: I didn’t really understand your opening comment. You wrote, “BPRD has become one of those soap opera comics where characters come and go, and those that readers thought dead return from the dead.” I’m certainly not an expert on all things BPRD, but I honestly don’t recall an instance where somebody that readers thought to be dead actually returned from the dead.

    Now Benjamin Daimio was literally dead before he ever made an appearance in the pages of BPRD, and the mummy lady (Panya) was, well, a mummy before she re-awoke sometime in the 19th century, but I honestly can’t remember a character dying within the pages of BPRD, where everybody else believed them to be dead, and then coming back to life. Roger died, and Roger stayed dead, despite the Bureau’s attempts to reanimate him. Who else has died? Not Liz. (She was trapped in that one dude’s machine so that he could use her internal flame to power his nefarious devices, but she wasn’t dead was she?) Not Kate. Not Abe. Not Johann. Not Daimio. (Daimio has been taken over by that wendigo thing, and I seriously doubt that we’ll ever see him again.) What other characters are you thinking of that have actually died and then been brought back to life?

    It just seems like you’re lumping BPRD into the nonsense of some of the superhero universes, where popular characters really are rebooted, brought back from death, etc, and their adventures simply continue, largely as if nothing had ever happened. I don’t get that kind of vibe from the Mignola-verse at all. There are lasting consequences in these books, which is one of the reasons I like them so much.

    Just my two cents.

    Keep up the great work, by the way. Since I found your website (a couple of months ago), it has become one of my favorite stops.


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