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B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 4: The Devil's Engine and The Long Death [Paperback]

Tyler Crook , James Harren , Mike Mignola , John Arcudi , Scott Allie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2012 B.P.R.D. (Book 4)
Agent Johann, the ectoplasmic man, leads a special task force through the monster-filled Northwest woods in order to hunt down and kill the man he blames for leaving him a disembodied spirit. In the Southwest, Agent Devon and the psychic crust punk Fenix form an uneasy alliance in order to escape a horde of giant bat-faced monsters. Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and drawn by James Harren (Conan the Barbarian) and Tyler Crook (Petrograd), this arc continues the series Comics Alliance calls "one of the best books on the stands."

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Frequently Bought Together

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 4: The Devil's Engine and The Long Death + B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 3: Russia + B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 5: The Pickens County Horror and Others
Price For All Three: £41.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595829814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595829818
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 0.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the Were-Jaguar! 1 Feb 2013
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"The Long Death" was definitely my favourite of the two 3-issue stories collected in this volume. Johann leads a team of agents to British Columbia to investigate a spate of bloody killings carried out by a were-jaguar and former BPRD colleague, Daimio. But Johann goes prepared to stop Daimio's bloody rampage once and for all.

As good as the story is, the artist James Harren deserves special mention for his outstanding work, drawing what is one of the goriest BPRD stories I've read in a good while. He draws the Wendigo amazingly too, giving him this profound sadness in his silent panels, and the Wendigo's close-up expression on his face before fighting the were-jaguar? Extraordinary. The background art is beautiful too, he really captures the stillness and eeriness of the snowy woods at night perfectly.There is a massive fight between Wendigo and were-jaguar in this story that I didn't expect to be as epic as it was but Harren does a marvellous job with the action. The characters move on the page and I loved how Wendigo's movements seemed believable despite his figure being wholly unreal.

Not that "The Devil's Engine" is bad, it just isn't as inspired as "The Long Death". In this one Agent Devon is escorting Fenix and her dog, Bruiser, back to BPRD HQ but finds trouble when their train derails and some kind of spider monsters chase them in the middle of a desert. It's a testament to Mike Mignola and John Arcudi's storytelling abilities that they're able to take 2 characters, Johann Krauss and Agent Devon, who, when the series started out, were solely background characters but are now the leads of a book - and you care about them as much as you would if it were Hellboy and Abe in their roles. Johann especially is becoming more and more likeable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mignola's grand epic continues 26 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If there is just one franchise that has inherited the throne The X-Files held in the 90s, it is not Fringe, or Angel, or any other tv-show dealing with investigating the occult; it is BPRD. What I wouldn't give to see this book turned into a tv-show!
Again the team gives us two minor arcs contained within one book, and as usual, they are both rewarding as well as advancing the plot. The only reason I buy these is because I can't wait until the HC collections come, which I subsequently also buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mignola isn't going wrong so far 18 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm enthralled by the BPRD saga, as well as what is going on with Hellboy, and it's a tribute to the strength of the concept that there can be a separate series without the big red guy.

Things are teetering on the edge of disaster. Everything just as normal, then.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Continued Excellence! 3 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I heard Mike Mignola in an interview recently saying he was glad to get away from Hollywood and concentrate on comics again and we are all better off for it. I liked the Hellboy movies but the Hellboy comic stories and associated BPRD just gets better and better. There are two great stories in this and brilliant art. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the Were-Jaguar! 1 Feb 2013
By Sam Quixote - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The Long Death" was definitely my favourite of the two 3-issue stories collected in this volume. Johann leads a team of agents to British Columbia to investigate a spate of bloody killings carried out by a were-jaguar and former BPRD colleague, Daimio. But Johann goes prepared to stop Daimio's bloody rampage once and for all.

As good as the story is, the artist James Harren deserves special mention for his outstanding work, drawing what is one of the goriest BPRD stories I've read in a good while. He draws the Wendigo amazingly too, giving him this profound sadness in his silent panels, and the Wendigo's close-up expression on his face before fighting the were-jaguar? Extraordinary. The background art is beautiful too, he really captures the stillness and eeriness of the snowy woods at night perfectly.There is a massive fight between Wendigo and were-jaguar in this story that I didn't expect to be as epic as it was but Harren does a marvellous job with the action. The characters move on the page and I loved how Wendigo's movements seemed believable despite his figure being wholly unreal.

Not that "The Devil's Engine" is bad, it just isn't as inspired as "The Long Death". In this one Agent Devon is escorting Fenix and her dog, Bruiser, back to BPRD HQ but finds trouble when their train derails and some kind of spider monsters chase them in the middle of a desert. It's a testament to Mike Mignola and John Arcudi's storytelling abilities that they're able to take 2 characters, Johann Krauss and Agent Devon, who, when the series started out, were solely background characters but are now the leads of a book - and you care about them as much as you would if it were Hellboy and Abe in their roles. Johann especially is becoming more and more likeable.

Duncan Fegredo who draws the covers for all the issues has to be mentioned. He is simply the best. Each one of those covers blew me away. He takes Mignola and his team's outlandish monster creations and turns them into things of utter beauty. That first cover of "The Long Death" where Johann is walking in the woods is wonderful as is the cover of the second issue to "The Devil's Engine" with the careening lorry with the monstrosity atop it, and when Dave Stewart's colouring them? Comic book nirvana. I wish these two would draw everything Mignola wrote, they are an unbeatable artistic duo.

This is an excellent fourth volume in the "Hell on Earth" series proving that Mignola only gets better with age. I don't know where it's going but Mike Mignola's creating a helluva comics tapestry with all of his books that are swelling literally into the dozens and seem to overlap in the most brilliant ways. I re-read "BPRD, Volume 6: The Universal Machine" recently because I love that book but it turned out to be fortuitous as the Wendigo character in Abe's story from that book reappears for the first time since then in "The Long Death". Also, if you want to get the most out of this story, check out "BPRD, Volume 8: Killing Ground" to find out who this Daimio chap is and how he came to be a were-jaguar. You can still enjoy this book without reading either book but "The Universal Machine" is seriously one of the best books Mignola's ever written so it's well worth checking out. Nobody else is doing monster comics this good - can't wait to read more in this brilliant series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunningly Monstrous Artistic Showcase 27 Sep 2014
By Corey Lidster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mike Mignola has been an "artists' artist" since he first blew everyone away in the mid-late eighties, emerging from behind a Walt Simonson/Jack Kirby fusion with his now unmistakable atmospheric and angular chiaroscuro style. Just as he was becoming one of the biggest names in comics, with books like the 'prestige' format 'Batman: Gotham by Gaslight' tailor-made to showcase his brilliance and originality, he decided to jump ship. Leaving superheroes and the 'big two' for the creative freedom of Dark Horse, he joined Frank Miller and John Byrne as part of the 'Legend' imprint of creator-owned titles. When 'Hellboy' debuted, the strength of the art obscured the insecurities Mignola felt as a writer. The first mini-series, 'Seed of Destruction', was scripted by John Byrne, but 'Wake the Devil' saw a rapid development in his abilities as a storyteller, as he broke free of the assembly-line mind-set that reinforces a distinction between writers and artists at Marvel and DC. His honesty and utter lack of pretention has always been admirable, and from the start he explained 'Hellboy' as a vehicle for his obsessions with pulp fiction and gothic horror, with a reckless approach to plotting that was often decided by an urge to draw a giant ape with bolts in its neck (for example).

The scope and complexity of the 'Mignolaverse' grew exponentially when the BPRD and Hellboy went their separate ways. John Arcudi took the 'Plague of Frogs' storyline in exciting and always unpredictable directions, and Guy Davis emerged as a singular artistic force, with Eisner awards confirming the critical and popular acclaim he so richly deserved. When Mignola chose Davis as artist on the first 'Plague of Frogs' arc, he was best known for his run on the Vertigo series 'Sandman Mystery Theatre', which was not the best representation of his abilities. Given their seemingly opposing artistic styles, it is a testament to Mignola's judgement that he saw the potential in Davis, who is now considered the most imaginative monster artists ever, perhaps even better than Mignola himself. The Hellboy and BPRD books have become the most reliably entertaining and artistically brilliant titles on the shelf, using a combination of respected veterans and gifted newcomers: Richard Corben, John Severin, Duncan Fegredo, Ryan Sook, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Paul Azaceta, Jason Shawn Alexander, Peter Snejbjerg, Ben Stenbeck, Sebastian & Max Fiumara, Scott Hampton, Kevin Nowlan, Jason Latour... and so on. Pound for pound, Hellboy, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Witchfinder, Baltimore and Lobster Johnson have the best art in mainstream comics.

With Volume 4 of the 'Hell on Earth' storyline, the reader gets two entertaining tales, smaller in scope, that serve to develop newer characters and resolve one of the original series best narrative threads. With Guy Davis gone, Mignola's unerring eye for talent is proven once more, with two exceptional new artists who each put their skill to the test on their respective stories. 'The Devil's Engine' is illustrated by Tyler Crook, who has a style similar enough to Guy Davis' pencils and inks to keep the unique look of BPRD intact, but uses a flawless European 'ligne claire' that contrasts with the sketchier, suggestive rendering of his predecessor. 'The Devil's Engine' begins with Agent Devon trying to escort the teenaged danger-detector Fenix back to BPRD headquarters. What promises to be an aggravating train-ride with a hostile girl who may or may not have useful premonitory powers, soon turns into a nightmare. After she freaks out and leaps from the moving train, Devon is forced to follow. She provides all the proof he needs of 'useful abilities' when the train crashes violently into a deep crater, killing the passengers. Their close call provides little relief, however; terrifying Hammerheaded monstrosities force them to seek refuge in an overturned trailer. Their desparate battle for survival makes for an exciting tale, and Crook proves himself to be among the very best artists in comics.

Both of the stories in this softcover collection are great, but it is 'The Long Death' that steals the show. Johann heads north to find his former boss, Ben Daimio, whose shocking secret about his mysterious death and rebirth in South America resulted in the massacre of several BPRD agents. It also destroyed the colossal human body that Krauss had been able to inhabit, living once more as a human, instead of a vaporous ectoplasm in a containment suit. When the Jaguar-god that has possessed Daimio faces off against Daryl, the Wendigo, it is one of the best issues of the year. The writing is excellent, but the art of James Harren is truly something special. He renders the violence between two legendary creatures with an exaggerated style that is stunning; this three-issue mini-series put the comic-world on notice -- James Harren is a f***ing superstar. It's a fun read all around, but the art alone is worth the price-tag.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death is Everywhere 10 Dec 2012
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Despair seems to be the theme running through the two stories in "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine and The Long Death." And people have good reason to despair. Hellboy is dead. Abe Sapien is shot and in a coma. The forces of evil reign on earth. The B.P.R.D. is looking to snatch whatever flowers of hope still bloom, to gather forces for a desperate re-match, and win some sort of final victory. But the odds don't look good, and you aren't going to find much hope in this comic, at any rate.

This collected edition has two unrelated 3-issue mini-series from the "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth" series, "The Devil's Engine" and "The Long Death." Both series continue a trend I have noticed in the last few "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth" mini-series. They are humanizing the cannon fodder. In the old days, when Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and B.P.R.D. Agent Billy Redshirt went on a mission together, the odds were pretty good (as in 100%) that Agent Redshirt's life was going to be short. The human arm of the B.P.R.D. seemed to be there mostly to provide appetizers or bait to whatever monstrosity the monster squad arm of the B.P.R.D. was batting. Not anymore.

With the major players out of action, the humans are having to fend for themselves. Sure, there are a few supernormals left, but they are few and far between and not the heavy hitters that Hellboy is. Now it is up to people like agent Andrew Devon to save the day, and he might not make it.

"The Devil's Engine" is a sequel to B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Gods and Monsters. The psychic homeless girl Fenix is being transported by to somewhere they can put her abilities to use. Agent Devon isn't really sold on Fenix though; he thinks of her as just some crazy girl off her medication muttering about "bad feelings." It isn't going to take much to convince him that he should listen to what she says.

The artist in for "The Devil's Engine" is Tyler Crook, who makes a good replacement for Guy Davis. Crook's artwork is more distinct, less scratchier than Davis', but his characters are their world is still recognizable. Fenix and Devon both look like Fenix and Devon. Crook also has a way with nuanced facial expressions. There are quite a few panels that are just Fenix's confusion over her own sense of foreboding, and her frustration at being unable to explain why she knows what she knows.

Of the two series, "The Devil's Engine" is more connected with the ongoing the ongoing Hell on Earth storyline. This story sets the stage for the big boom that is "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Return of the Master" where all of the connected storylines finally come together.

"The Long Death" is my favorite of this collection. Whereas "The Devil's Engine" is prologue, "The Long Death" is epilog. Johann Kraus -- fresh in his new Russian containment suit from B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Russia - heads once more into the wilderness to hunt for his old friend Captain Daimio, who Kraus feared had transformed into the legendary flesh-eating wendigo.

"The Long Death" is a melancholy piece. There are no great heroics here, no redeeming battles; just failure and its consequences. Mignola and Arcudi have done excellent work digging into the dynamics of what humans must feel like working along something like Johann Krauss. One of my favorite moments is two agents sitting in the dirt discussing the afterlife and how the mere presence of Johann Krauss is reassuring; he is walking proof that death is not the end.

Little scenes like this remind me of Shakespeare's Henry V, where we get to hear the foot soldiers discussing the morality of their campaign, and wonder if their souls can be at risk for following their duty. Or if doing bad things in a noble cause can be forgiven.

I was impressed with James Harren's art in this series. The guy can draw serious monsters. I don't know if he is working off of Mignola character designs or not, but both his yeti and his were-jaguar are terrifying, all gangly limbs and gapping maws. He knows how to dig down deep and channel both fear and humanity for his monsters. The yeti vs. were-jaguar battle is spectacular. I love how he gives both of the monsters distinct personalities even in the midst of a pitched battle.

King of Colors Dave Stewart spins Harren's art into something mythical during the battle. He makes his own yin-yang of violence with the white Wendigo against the red were-jaguar. There are some very nice subtleties going on, like when the Wendigo's pure white flesh takes on a pinkish hue when he bites down on the were-jaguar, as if absorbing some of its rage. It just goes to show once again how Stewart can take anyone's art and move it from great to masterpiece with a stroke of his digital pen.

I have been enjoying these little B.P.R.D. interludes in the "Hell on Earth" series. I know that Dark Horse is building up for the Big Event that is coming soon and that these stories amount to little more than appetizers. But as an appetizer, both "The Devil's Engine" and "The Long Death" are completely delicious and utterly filling.

Like all Dark Horse collected editions, this volume has a bonus sketchbook in the back. I really enjoyed seeing the process, and how character designs for "The Devil's Engine" worked from Mignola's initial sketches and ideas to Crook's finished work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great comics 21 Jan 2013
By M. Dicke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked this up cause I wanted a book with James Harrens art in it. I have not read BPRD for years but that is not a problem. THey are stand alone stories and work really well on their won. THis book fired on all cylinders, the art and story were just amazing. Well worth reading. I could wax more but I think you should just pick it up and read it for yourself. 5 stars says it all.
4.0 out of 5 stars Goes slow for a bit, the suspense is worth the wait 11 Feb 2014
By Airwise - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wish BPRD as a whole would get a bit more, idk, flashy i guess.
They have a nice universe but in comparison to Hellboy I never feel like they get any storylines really done.
Johann Krauss is my fave so this one did stand out to me, I'm so glad they delve into him more these days
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