Review: B.P.R.D., Vol. 10: The Warning by Mignola, Arcudi, and Davis
B.P.R.D. Vol. 10: The Warning
Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi; Art by Guy
Dark Horse Comics, May 2009, $17.95
[[[The Warning]]] is the tenth volume
collecting the adventures of the [[[Hellboy]]]-less Bureau for Paranormal Research
and Defense, and the first in what the creators are calling the “[[[Scorched Earth
Trilogy]]].” The afterword by co-writer John Arcudi claims that events will get
bigger and more dangerous from here – though he does note that this volume
includes, among other thing, “[name withheld] gets kidnapped, … entire fleet of
helicopters gets wiped out, and gigantic robots trample [name withheld] into
rubble.” And previous volumes of this series (and, of course, of the related Hellboy)
have been no slouch in the near-Armageddon sweepstakes – particularly [[[The Black Flame]]]. That’s a lot of promise, but Mignola’s fictional
world does always teeter on the verge of utter supernatural chaos, in his very
Lovecraftian way. It would be wise to take Arcudi at his word.
The Warning begins with the team going
in two directions at once, urgently following up recent events – Abe Sapien
leads an assault squad out into the snowy mountains to try to find and retrieve
the Wendigo-possessed former leader of their team, and the others have a séance
to contact the mysterious ‘30s costumed hero Lobster Johnson, whom they think
will have information about the robed man taunting and manipulating firestarter
Liz Sherman in her mind. But neither one of those leads works out as the
[[[B.P.R.D.]]] hopes, and, before long, they’re face-to-face with another
high-powered menace and seeing another city being assaulted by giant robots.
And yet, remember that note from Arcudi. The plot of The
Warning turns out to be just a warm-up; the antagonists here
are not the true enemies of the B.P.R.D. Near the end, that mysterious man
claims that he isn’t their real antagonist, either. The B.P.R.D. is
fumbling in the dark in The Warning, unsure of what the
real menace is, let alone how to stop it. But they go on, because that’s what
The Warning is a great installment
of a top-rank adventure series, filled with wonder and terror, eyeball kicks
and quiet character moments. It’s a magnificent brick in a more magnificent
wall, but it’s no place to start. If you haven’t read B.P.R.D.
before, go back to the beginning with [[[Hollow Earth
]]]– or, even better, go back to the beginning of Hellboy
with [[[Seed of Destruction]]]. But, if you enjoy adventure
stories with characters who don’t wear skin-tight outfits,
you should have discovered Mignola’s world by now.
Andrew Wheeler has been a publishing professional
for nearly twenty years, with a long stint as a Senior Editor at the Science
Fiction Book Club and a current position at John Wiley & Sons. He¹s been
reading comics for longer than he cares to mention, and maintains a personal,
mostly book-oriented blog at antickmusings.blogspot.com.
Publishers who would like to submit books
for review should contact ComicMix through the usual channels or email Andrew
Wheeler directly at acwheele (at) optonline (dot) net.