B.P.R.D. (Vol. 8): Killing Ground: Trapped inside the base

B.P.R.D. (Vol. 8): Killing Ground by Mike Mignola (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Guy Davis (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), & Clem Robins (letters)

 B.P.R.D. (Vol. 8): Killing Ground by Mike Mignola B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground introduces us to a transformed Johann, eager to try everything he can now that he has escaped his containment suit. And Liz continues to be haunted by her dreams, though she finds comfort in befriending the ancient mummy, Panya, who has joined them at B.P.R.D. headquarters. Abe has recommitted to the team now that he feels he has put his past to rest, as we saw in the last volume. Daryl the wendigo is transferred to the new facility as well, and finally, Daimio is haunted by his past now that his teammates have discovered his familial connection with a war criminal.

All these plot points are expertly brought together by writers Mignola and Arcudi. The wendigo causes more problems than expected, Panya has more to her than first appears, an intruder is on the base, and quite a few people die. Mignola and Arcudi like to shake things up, and unlike a DC or Marvel comic, the plots of Hellboy comics move forward quickly and events that occur have lasting influence. The stakes are high since there is still the threat of the frog monsters out there, though that danger is pushed to the background as more immediate concerns take precedence for the team.

Killing Ground is an excellent volume even though it does put on pause the story about the monster frogs. In this story arc, almost all the action take place within the B.P.R.D. facility, which gives the comic a claustrophobic feel. We get the sense that the place has become exceptionally dangerous for a number of reasons, and we never know who will get hurt or die. More than any other Hellboy or B.P.R.D. story arc so far, this one really ends on quite a cliffhanger. Expect the unexpected in the Killing Ground. But do not pass up reading this comic.


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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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