Cassie’s Dark Horse Comics Review: B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH: EXORCISM #1
Published: June 27, 2012 - 12:43pm
A possession in Indiana could hold the key to saving the world from destruction, and green B.P.R.D. Agent Strode could be the one who is able to save it, when she receives a cryptic message from a demon. In a journey that takes her to visit a former agent in Mexico, Strode and her companion Ota Benga head into the astral plane to rescue humanity.
Mike Mignola has an amazing way of tying seemingly disparate elements together. He opens the issue with a possessed woman in Africa during the 1800s, which somehow ties into a possession of a little boy in Indiana in present day. Of course the stories are connected, this is a Mignola comic, the question is always how. Thankfully, with this being a two-issue story, the answers comes quickly.
The whole world is continuing its descent into hell, thanks to the lost war with Hellboy (see Hellboy Volume 12: The Storm and the Fury). Hell itself has risen to the surface and has entered the earthly plane and demons, vampires, and monstrous creatures are wreaking havoc all around the planet. Agent Strode comes across one such demon during a possession case, and he gives her a cryptic message that deals with a cage, another demon, and a prior agent named Ota Benga- not to be confused with historical Ota Benga who was part of a human exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in the 1900s. This message might hold the link to the salvation of earth from Hell’s forces. If a demon can be trusted is another story.
One element I will never tire of in the B.P.R.D. world is all the tie-ins to prior issues, mostly because it has the distinction of making the mythology more believable. This comic brings in Cat Corrigan, mentions of Liz Sherman, a photograph of Professor Bruttenholm, and references to monsters in the West (see B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine). Of course Hell on Earth is high in the connections because it’s all revolving around the same event, but it’s still refreshing to see a series so committed to continuity.
Cameron Stewart does double duty this issue, writing alongside Mignola and also illustrating the comic. Stewart produces gorgeous work, and one can’t help but wonder if he can design anything unattractive. From fresh-faced agent Strode to the little boy she’s attempting to rescue and the 1800s possession, everything is cute and pretty. Seriously, this issue should win an award for the prettiest exorcism every performed. It’s more beautifully haunting than terrifying, which is in no way a detriment, it works with the tone of this story.
The next issue should be supernatural to the max! Cannot wait to see how Mignola and Stewart wrap things up, not to mention see more appearances of the cutest winged demon pony of all time.
Story: Mike Mignola and Cameron Stewart
Art: Cameron Stewart
Cover: Viktor Kalvachev
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