REVIEW: “B.P.R.D. #117”: No Clue What the Hell is Going on but I Like It

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When I tell my friends that I almost  exclusively read Marvel comics they always give me a sad kind of look. It’s the same kind of look PC gamers give me when I say I love my Playstation 4. There’s a whole world out there, their eyes seem to suggest, if you would just be willing to break out of the big two and try something new. But Jesus Christ I really do not have the faintest clue what is happening in this comic.
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The funny thing is, I read the backlog. I picked up the three previous comics for around ten bucks and while I got a sense of the characters, let me reiterate, I have absolutely no clue what is going on in this comic. A warning sign popped up in my head when I realized that all four comics (including this one being reviewed) all used the same text dump at the beginning of the comic to explain the context of the present story. Now one of the bigger two companies would have individualized expositions to explain what happened in each comic but I just had to figure this one out on my own. I say all of this not actually to nit-pick the story (I understand that I am only one of the lowly commoners who has wandered into storylines to pure for my blood) but to explain that this review comes from the perspective of a newcomer to the series and will be scored as such. Take that for what it’s worth.
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The story is part 4 of a 5 part larger story involving the infiltration of New York by the B.P.R.D. on a fact finding mission to kill some monsters there. I’m not really sure what caused the monsters in the first place there but I’m going to assume from the title, “Hell on Earth” that hell has arisen on earth or some stuff like that. The crew is split into two teams who are investigating the corporation Zinco to figure out what nefarious stuff they are up to. When we last off in issue #117 One of the teams had been surrounded by some swarm of monsters called the crickets while Liz Sherman ran off to kill the Black Flame who has been reincarnated in the body that was meant for some other ghosty guy.
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And honestly that’s where this comic kicks off; it’s basically just a bunch of pages of awesome fight scenes. The last couple issues were a little more pensive and foreboding but now the series is in full blown shit hitting the fan mode and it’s kind of one of the best things I’ve read in a while. The fight scene between the pyrokinesis chick and the black flame is epic on the scale of the Man of Steel fight scenes and the monster killing action is to die for. The art leaves a little to be desired as its kind of sketchy for my tastes but it conveys action in a completely gratifying way.
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All in all, this comic gets a recommendation but I will say that if you haven’t been following the series, this is the farthest thing you can come to for a jumping on point. But in terms of straight action it’s one of the best comics I’ve read in a while.

 

VERDICT: 7/10 – Warm Recommendation