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B.P.R.D., Vol. 15: Being Human (2011)

by Mike Mignola(Favorite Author)
3.96 of 5 Votes: 3
1595827560 (ISBN13: 9781595827562)
Dark Horse
review 1: The B.P.R.D. is Hellboy without Hellboy, but don't let that dissuade you in the slightest. With a fantastic cast of disturbed non-humans, the B.P.R.D. is one of Mike Mignola's most ingenious creations, and this volume, "Being Human," collects a ton of content that serves as an introduction to the wacky agents of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The short stories collected wherein, from an assortment of industry talent, are all a lot of spooky fun - but, as with most collections of this type, there is a pecking order, and they cannot all be deemed the cream of the crop. So, with keeping in mind all of the content in this book is fantastic and worth your time, I'm just going to outright tell you that Kraus wins. Kraus gets the best story. Bar none. Unwilling p... moreyromancer Liz Sherman kicks things off, with a tale from her youth that closely mirrors the Salem witch trials. She investigates, with the help of Professor Bruttenholm as her handler, a potential haunting in a tidy house - the residence of a religious official. Unexplained, paranormal phenomena ensues, and, with flashbacks to the past of the ghoul who now haunts the building, she explores the potential of her powers, and the price of being accepted for them. We then get a story with the plucky Abe Sapien, with an early mission from his career. It's an interesting vignette, and a nice peek into his skills as an agent, but, sadly, it is not as extended as one would hope. Abe Sapien, of course, is a rather notable mainstay of the Hellboy series, and he does have his own spin-off comic series, so perhaps the exclusion of a lengthier focus on him is forgiven... it would be nice, nontheless, to get to spend more time with our subaquatic psychic. Next up, Roger the Homunculus takes a journey with Hellboy to investigate a magical disturbance involving ancient witches. The plot itself takes a backseat, opting instead to explore the dynamic between Hellboy and Roger, once each other's mortal enemy. It's by no means an uneasy alliance - Hellboy seems, as ever, totally onboard with pretty much anything life throws at him, and his casual acceptance that Roger is on his side is never taken as anything but red - but Roger expresses his remorse over past encounters, and it's a tangible insight into the way the reanimated construct thinks.Finally, it's Kraus' story. It's technically an origin story, explaining how he became to be the ectoplasmic phantasm we know and love him as. But there is a much more sinister undertone, and an absolutely fantastic new, villainous monster, impeccably designed and realized, and this sings to me as the gold standard of the entire collection. Liz, Abe, and Roger's stories are affable in that they reveal some of the inner workings of well-established characters, but Kraus is used here to tell a genuinely chilling horror vignette, one of revenge and betrayal, that, while definitely shedding some light on Johann Kraus as a person, does more as a standalone ghost story than anything. It's absolutely fantastic, and I closed this collection feeling nothing less than absolutely satisfied. It's a stellar collection, perhaps superfluous in its intent, but nontheless full of typical quality that is to be absolutely expected from Mignola and his collaborators. Newcomers to the adventures of the B.P.R.D. and faithful followers alike should definitely consider adding this to their bookshelves.
review 2: From: Dark Horse ComicsVia: NetGalley.comI've been following Mike Mignola's works ever since I read the first volume of Hellboy a few months ago. Since then, I've read quite a lot of his works that I could get my hands on but, I read the Hellboy series in order of their stories so this is actually the first time I read any B.P.R.D. book/ issue by Mignola.Well, it was good that the first volume I read of the B.P.R.D. are origin stories of some of its key members. I love origin stories because they always keep me on the loop with the characters of the story. Anyways, the writing style is a trademark Mike Mignola, Easy to understand and fast paced. The illustrations also compliments the narrative quite perfectly. The only thing I didn't like about this volume was the Abe Sapien part entitled "Casualties" it was so short and is quite out of place for me in the theme of the volume. All in all, it's a must read for anyone who wants to get into reading Mignola's works. less
Reviews (see all)
I liked the fact that these shorties didn't really tie-in with grand arcs.
Creation stories for Liz, Roger, and Johann.
Love it! Hellboy's back. Sweet backstories.
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