Written by Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art by Guy Davis
Cover by Mignola
Before I get too deep into this review, I am self-compelled to provide the following disclaimer to all new B.P.R.D. readers: It would be in your best interest to read at least a few previous B.P.R.D. miniseries before diving into this one. I’m a bit late to the party, but Google and Wikipedia have been fairly helpful in getting me up to speed on who’s who and what’s what here. Even if you’re not too familiar with the overall plot or just know some of the characters from the Hellboy movies, this is still a very entertaining title and well worth catching up on.
This issue begins with the no longer government-sponsored B.P.R.D. split into two sub-teams. Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and newest member Andrew Devon travel to a castle in the Ural Mountains to investigate a paranormal disturbance, where Liz receives an unwanted shoutout from a particularly unfriendly spectral being. Meanwhile, Kate Corrigan and her would-be boyfriend Bruno arrive at an Austrian castle to release the spirit of Lobster Johnson from Johann Strauss’ ectoplasmic skin. While there, Kate and Bruno get into a spat in which she reveals all of her personal issues that came from working with demons, fishmen, and chicks that burst into flames. This fight is interrupted when Strauss’ consciousness returns to his body and Lobster’s spirit is free to fight the Nazi ghosts that inhabit the castle.
This issue basically sums up the appeal of B.P.R.D. in a nutshell. It’s got the typical ghosts and ghouls expected from Mignola and company, as well as some sly humor and fantastically creepy, slightly cartoony art from Guy Davis that adds to the fun of the story. While not particularly friendly to novices, this issue was still a blast and earns 4 out of 5 Nazi Skeleton Pile-Ups.