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B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth - A Cold Day In Hell #106 - Part 2 of 2 Review

4

The B.P.R.D. teams up with The Russian Special Sciences Service for an adventure that nearly gets them killed.

The Good

This issue is really entertaining. We open with a look at the supernatural and the occult, and shift into the story's very spunky central character. Although we do get a brief synopsis of what has happened so far, readers are left a little bit in the dark as to the details of the actual story. Regardless, it's easy to pick up and become engaged in this story very quickly, even if you are a new reader.

The art of course is stunning. The pencils are minimalistic and the colors vibrant when they need to be. Artist Peter Snejbjerg does a very good job at laying out the story panel by panel in a way that is eloquent, effortless and fluid. He captures emotion and excitement in his panels incredibly well.

What really struck me though, more than anything, is the portrayal of the story's hard-nosed, no-nonsense female character, Agent Giarocco. She is incredibly bold and brave and willing to put herself at risk to get the job done -- this is evident about halfway through the issue when she begins to recount the events that led her there. The result is this very well written and interesting character that will really lure you into the story with ease.

The Bad

Overall this issue is, indeed, fantastic -- even if I did have a few problems with the ending. Rather than walking us through what happened by showing us a story, Mignola wrapped things up using a narrator to explain the turn of events. Although this method is fine, and even though the story is still interesting, it does make this issue feel as though it is lacking something special. Part of me really would have liked to have been shown the deterioration of events instead of being told step by step what happened through a narrator, but c'est la vie. That may just be my personal preference.

The Verdict

Even though I did have some problems with the ending and the way the story was explained to the reader, I don't think this necessarily hurt the story. Mignola does this often, it's just that these two issues in particular really did feel like they could have been longer -- this story could have easily taken up three issues and I don't think anyone would have minded. In fact, I think there is something to it that is lost in keeping it condensed in only 2 issues. Having said that, this is still a really brilliant story. The central character, Agent Giarocco is engaging, well illustrated and full of personality: if the story itself won't keep you at the edge of your seat, her bold characterization will. This is definitely a fun ride, even if I would have liked to see a continuation of this story.

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