B.P.R.D. (Vol. 11): The Black Goddess: The search for a missing agent continues

B.P.R.D. The Black Goddess by Mike Mignola and othersB.P.R.D. (Vol. 11): The Black Goddess by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Guy Davis (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)

The Black Goddess is the second volume of the Scorched Earth Trilogy, and it continues the events started in Volume 10: The Warning. But it also is a story that is far into the Hellboy universe, and thus this is not a good place to start reading. Begin with Hellboy volume one and read that series before reading the B.P.R.D. series in order as well.

In The Black Goddess, Abe, Kate, Johann, and Devon are still on the hunt for Liz and her captor Gilfryd, who has warned Liz and Abe repeatedly that the frog creatures will lead the world to a massive catastrophe. Abe apparently has some important role to play in these future events, as does Liz, but we are still unclear about what those roles could possibly be.

The volume starts off with the Abe, Devon, and Johann pursuing the lead that Devon revealed at the end of volume ten: He has discovered the secret headquarters for the long-deceased Lobster Johnson. We find the three of them underground, in a boat, pulling up to this secret base, now very much deteriorated and falling apart. Finding a record of Gilfryd in Lobster’s old files, they start piecing together the pieces of a mystery involving Gilfryd and someone named Memnan Saa, who might be Gilfryd himself.

Meanwhile, Kate interviews the last living member of Lobster Johnson’s crew and finds a lead there. They follow up on the lead in a significant manner: they get the military to follow their invasion of a valley surrounded by snow, the secret hiding place of Gilfryd and the location of, they hope, Liz Sherman. As he did in Volume ten, Guy Davis really shines in his artwork. And also as in Volume ten, there are plenty of large battles with monsters and frogs for him to draw. During the battles, we go back and forth between the action and Gilfryd’s mysterious explanations of the future unfolding for our world, a future only part of humankind will survive.

Saying much more than that will just give spoilers, but events take a strange turn before the volume closes, and we get another surprise on the final page as a dead man seems to be alive again. The Black Goddess offers more questions than answers, but that makes sense given that this is the middle of a trilogy of volumes. The trilogy skips over volumes 12 and 13 and continues in Volume 14: King of Fear, the closing volume in an important overarching story about the impending end of the world in the Hellboy Universe.


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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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