COMIC REVIEW: BPRD #105 – Cold Day in Hell Pt. 1

colddayinhell

Cold Day in Hell is part of Mike Mignola’s hugely successful BRPD Hell on Earth series, which started at issue #80, co-written with John Arcudi. The story continues after pyrokinetic Liz Sherman almost cracked the world in two when she lit a fire in Agartha.

Liz went missing and her actions have led to unspeakable creatures terrorising populations across the planet. Meanwhile, Abe Sapien has been shot and is a in a coma. Agents from the B.P.R.D have teamed up with their Russian equivalents, the Russian Special Sciences Service.

Head of the Russian’s Director Nichayko was a former soldier who died when a submarine was flooded. Now he’s kind of a zombie but with normal intelligence. He is flying what he calls the Ekranoplan with relatively new B.R.P.D agent, Giarocco; a human with no special abilities. They battle with fairly typically Lovecraftian/Mignolian monsters, bent on wanton destruction. Soon, somewhere in Russia, they land and tanks are deployed to tackle more of the creatures. However, the Director has another mission. Meanwhile, Abe has disappeared. Is Panya involved somehow? And what does Varvara have to do with anything?

Despite reading much of Hellboy, I’ve only dipped into the extended B.P.R.D universe so I was fairly unfamiliar with many of the characters in Cold Day in Hell. However, this didn’t stop me thoroughly enjoying everything about this comic. The narrative and exposition is so well written you don’t feel lost or confused. The threads of the story work well together and the dialogue is fine. There are only a few panels per page so there is plenty of room for quality story-telling. Indeed, sometimes the page is the panel; the smaller panels within them is highly effective at suggesting a grand scale.

The mystery and mythologies are as well written as you’d expect from Mignola and Arcudi. The art is by Peter Snejbjerg. The Dane previously worked on the excellent A God Somewhere with Arcudi as well as various DC and Vertigo titles. His choice of colours almost feel cold. His creatures suit the mood of the piece, but overall, the art is a little too clean for my personal tastes, and maybe too clean for the B.P.R.D. universe. It feels a little too generic compared with others, such as Guy Davis. Great design, great concepts, good execution.

Overall, Cold Day in Hell is a great addition to the B.P.R.D. canon. Superbly designed, it looks good, if bringing nothing new to the series. It is a fine, tight story with enough mystery and accessible back story to want both the fan and the casual reader wanting more. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Rating: 4/5
Reporter: Ian J Simpson

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