Review - B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

The B.P.R.D. has seen its fair share of weird. Hellboy and his running crew are no stranger to the strange, yet every series featuring them continue to be relatively fresh and surprising. B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1 is definitely another in the series that continues this trend.

The title is written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, with art by Jason Latour, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins and covers by Becky Cloonan (with Dave Stewart) and Mignola (with Stewart). Dark Horse has another chapter in the B.P.R.D. saga ready to go.

The world is plagued by an infection, an infection that no one seems to have the answers for. It's an infection that's causing strange mutations in its victims. And it's an infection that's seemingly tied to a strange fog that rolls in and, in the first issue, is prevalent in Pickens County.

Agents Vaughn and Peters from the B.P.R.D. are sent to Pickens County after disappearances were reported. It's there that they discover the fog, disappearances and infection are all possibly related. Not only that, but they meet a professor by the name of Ethan Thomas, an historian seeking to write the history of vampires in America. Professor Thomas is working with a vampire named Cole for his research.

Mignola and Allie have crammed a lot in this first issue, which makes sense considering B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1 is only a two-part series. There's the fog, vampires, infection and even people possibly rising from the dead. In the grand scheme of things I guess that's just a Tuesday for the members of the B.P.R.D. There's a certain smalltown fear in Pickens County that is successfully captured in the dialogue, which also adds to the overall tension of the comic.

The art by Latour is spot on and Hellboy style all the way. The panel layouts are interesting and has some images spread across multiple panels, sort of giving the reader something to follow along from left to right as they read. It's hard to describe, but you'll see it when you read it. The color palette by Stewart is muted, with different colors signifying different times of day and emotion. It works really well and almost separates the comic by event.

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1 is an interesting entry in the Hellboy universe. Hellboy is even in the issue, although his presence isn't quite as lasting as you may want. There's the aforementioned events that make this a B.P.R.D. comic and, within that context, everything just works. It'll be intriguing to see if Cole's really got anything more sinister planned than just being a case study.

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1 hits stores March 21 while interiors are below.