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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Comic Review - BPRD:Plague of Frogs 1-5

Title/Storyline
BPRD - Plague of Frogs
Publish Date/Year
2004
Creative Team
Mike Mignola & Guy Davis
Issue(s)
1-5
Publisher
Dark Horse

Story
BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) agents, while on a routine surveillance, recovered a spore from the abandoned ruins of Cavendish Hall where the BPRD had previously battled a demon.While in the custody of BPRD's researchers, the spore grows from a size of a pea to a 15 feet monstrosity inside the BPRD labs in 6 weeks! We learn that it's the reincarnation of the demon the BPRD had defeated earlier at the site - Sadhu-Hem!

The heroes sans Hellboy (Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, Roger, Dr Kate Corrigan & Johann Kraus), return to BPRD HQ to find death and destruction in the wake of the demon monster's escape from BPRD's labs and head out to hunt it down. They track it to a Michigan town called Crab Point where the demon monster transforms the entire town's population into the frog monsters from Seed of Destruction (hence the title).

Despite Liz Sherman using her pyrokinetic powers to raze the town, the demon monster and most of the frog monsters, there were simply too many of them to contain. While most were burnt, many of the frog monsters still managed to escape the conflagration and went into hiding, signalling a long a drawn out series of battles throughout the BPRD series.

Abe Sapien was severely injured in the altercation with the frog monsters. In a semi-conscious state, he had hallucinations that hints at his unrevealed past as an undersea explorer called Caul that even he himself was not aware of until now. (This is a subplot that will be explored further in subsequent BPRD series.)
Dr Kate Corrigan (extreme right)Liz ShermanJohann Krause Roger the Homunculus



Abe Sapien
Art
Guy Davis' art takes a little getting used to (give yourself a couple of BPRD series). You would eventually warm up to his style. It's not the typical style that is suited for the super-heroic type of stories but more for Vertigo and Dark Horse type of books.

His lines look and seem simplistic but convey a lot more than what you would get in the super-hero books. In some instances, his work can be downright creepy!

Overall
The Hellboy & BPRD franchise have some of the greatest stories ever told - mixing serious doses of real world historical mysticism with just enough fiction that makes for a gripping read EVERY TIME! It helps if you read the whole Trade or entire run of the story arc in a single sitting than separately. In fact, I found it next to impossible to top reading it until I got to the last page!

Mignola cleverly injects & mixes the fables, legends, old wives' tales with demons, evil spirits, monsters and monsters into reality (look at the research work referenced in the footnotes peppered across the series) in such a way that readers can almost believe that these things could actually be happening in the real world (OK, squint your eyes a little). In any case, these stories make for great movies - if done right! The 2 movies so far had been entertaining but they kind of lost the potential to be so much more (much like the Daredevil movie, sigh...)

Highly Recommended! Go read it!
Save 34%! Get it here:
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs Hardcover Collection Volume 1

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