Writing by: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Art by: James Harren
Review by Melissa Megan
Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is an easy, fun offshoot from the Hellboy series. It first appeared in an issue of Hellboy back in 1993 and has since become a series of stories in it’s own right. I will admit I haven’t read all of these, it’s more something I grab when I have spare time to read in between my committed favorites, but I have yet to read one that I haven’t enjoyed on some level.
Hell on Earth, The Abyss of Time is a new two part story of the agents discovering a hidden temple in an abandoned factory in Chicago. The place is packed with relics and symbols, one of which seems to hold the power to bend the rules of time and history. An agent gets curious, gets himself in trouble and craziness ensues.
What I always appreciate about the writing of Mike Mignola is that he never takes his stories too seriously. It’s really enjoyable to read a creepy comic book with a sense of humor; one that maintains quality storytelling chops and a lighthearted voice harmoniously. As I said, B.P.R.D. is an easy read, it’s not heavy on poetry, deep references or fancy pants vocabulary. It’s a reliable series to pick up when you need a break from the weightier books on your list.
Verdict: Buy it digitally. B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, The Abyss of Time #1 is a good time and a quality comic book. It is not what I would consider ‘collection worthy’, but I’m very frugal these days when it comes to purchasing printed books to add to my shelf. I think most comic readers today have a smaller budget and smaller spaces to offer to comic collections, so the ones you pick up and hold on to must be close to your heart in some way. I definitely suggest reading any of the B.P.R.D. books, but they are short stories best paired with spare time and flexible commitment.