Friday, January 22, 2016

What is best in life? B! P! R! D!

Ever since Mike Mignola launched his comic universe, there has been one constant truth, going on for more than 20 years - if the Ogdru Jahad, the vast and terrible primordial source of all evil, was ever released from its otherworldly prison, that was the end of all things. It would destroy the world and annihilate the human race. If it ever got to Earth, it was game over.

So when the latest arc in BRPD's truly apocalyptic Hell On Earth storyline starts with part of the seven-headed dragon landing in the middle of the America, it's a great way to let you know they're not kidding around.

BPRD is, pound-for-pound, the most ruthlessly entertaining serial comic available. The story is operating on a cosmic scale of tragedy and valor, with incredibly stylish art teams that capture every piece of grit at the end of the world.

It's existentially horrific, with humanity scraped away by these gross and horrible entities that just don't care about us, and every victory is offset by some other crippling setback, as the end comes nearer.

Fortunately there are still some terrifyingly powerful creatures that used to be human beings, like Liz Sherman and Johann Kraus, who still retain enough humanity to fight the good fight, but there is the worrying sense that even this is not enough, or that they might crack the world open like an egg if they really unleash their full power.

And there is a large cast of regular humans, doing what they can to save the world, even as it gets harder and harder. Regular people, trapped in the worst of all endings.

It's terrifically exciting stuff, as the escalating tensions and horror builds and builds and builds. It's all coming to a head, with the entire Hell On Earth storyline coming to some sort of conclusion soon, and there is no guarantee that everybody is going to make it.

In fact, there is no guarantee the world is going to make it. The Ogdru Jahad walks the earth, and it's here to destroy the world. The people fighting against it can only hope there is something new to replace it with afterwards.

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