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B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 6: The Return of the Master Paperback – 6 Aug 2013

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 6: The Return of the Master
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616551933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616551933
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 0.8 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 May 2014
Format: Paperback
I’m not sure if its deliberate but it feels like Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are going around and around in circles with the BPRD – at least that’s what it feels like if you’ve been following the series since the start like I have. Hell On Earth is basically Season 2 of BPRD but in Volume 6: Return of the Master, a lot of characters from BPRD Season 1 pop up and a number of concepts from that first run also appear here. Namely, Rasputin and the Black Flame, two BPRD villains who’ve died more than once get brought back and we revisit the concept of Rag Narok, aka the End of the World.

This isn’t the best volume as the main focus is on a minor villain and a squad of BPRD human soldiers who aren’t particularly memorable. The minor villain is The Master who sets up shop in a ruined Scottish castle, bringing with him some human followers while resurrecting some giant monsters to fight the BPRD squad sent to take him out. The characters we’ve come to know and love are either absent or doing very little in this book. Hellboy is of course absent, as he’s battling his way through hell, Abe Sapien is still comatose inside a tank, and Liz Sherman is AWOL (though she does check in with a single panel). Meanwhile, Johann Krauss is putzing around BPRD HQ, arguing with new recruit (and Marvel rip-off) Fenix, a red-headed girl with powerful psychic powers.

BPRD is at its best when it does short, self-contained spooky stories in the vein of The X-Files but without the TV budgetary restraints (a special effects sequence costs the same as a conversation between two people in a room in the comics world) but this volume is instead more about the larger series storyline going on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In theory, BPRD's 'Year of Monsters' in 2012 seemed like a great idea - a glut of stories by different creative teams to 'celebrate' that world literally and metaphorically going to hell. More BPRD could only be a good thing, right? In practice, it muddled the main narrative and, in conjunction with the increasing numbers of spin-off series (Witchfinder, 1947, 1948, Vampire, Lobster Jonhson) rather diluted the brand. There were so many mini-series that very few of them were getting resolution, and coming so soon after series artist Guy Davis' departure, it all all contributed to a sense of a series going through a bit of an identity crisis.

This book, number 6 of the Hell on Earth arc, finds the series firmly back on track. The quality of some of the mini-series was very high indeed, but there wasn't much sense of foward momentum. Never did this feel more apparent than in the wool-gathering previous volume. It's only here in this book that the (many) different plot threads are all tied back together into a single narrative, and it makes all the difference. Devon finally makes it back to the Beaureu with Fenix (who they've been trying to get hold of since Book 2!), the Zinco plotline that's been bubbling away for a while comes to major prominence, the ongoing story of Johann's vat-grown body gets some resolution and plot points and loose ends from as far back as 1996's Wake the Devil are touched on. For long-term fans there's a lot here to enjoy, not least with the return of two very old former foes...

It all makes for some satisfying reading, as the series seems to know where it's headed again. For every storyline resolved, there's another new one set up for the future, of course, but the series seems more confident about where it's taking them long-term.
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Format: Paperback
The story running through issues #1-5 of the Dark Horse Comics; mini-series B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth - Return of the Master is collected as B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Volume 6: The Return of the Master. This is a excellent new chapter in the Hell on Earth serial, continuing directly on from the previous one. The story opens with a new `incident' beginning in Scotland, as a stranger arrives at a ferry terminal and starts trouble. Apparently he is a dissident Russian scientist who has gone over to the `darks side', and has headed for the wilds of Scotland in order to recall a dead `master' back to this world. The Russians warn the BPRD, who send their best woman to investigate. Meanwhile, closer to home, Fenix and her dog are not happy at BPRD HQ, especially when Panya gets to work on her; and Johann's clone body attracts the interest of Zinco Industries, who take it away for a bit of treatment, only to quickly plug it into their secret Nazi contraptions and attempt to resurrect Rasputin into it! Unfortunately, that Scottish site is also trying to do the same thing, and a few wires get crossed... And just to top it off, a new wave of big giant monster activity is kicked off by all this conspiring. But at the very end, just when it seems things can't get any worse, an old BPRD agent is discovered in Utah, of all places...

As I said above, this is an excellent new instalment, but it is only an instalment; although lots of things happen, there is no change to the cataclysmic state the world finds itself in - in fact it gets worse; the villains appear to be making progress, and although the Russians appear to be gearing up their efforts, the BPRD is rapidly running out of resources.

The artwork is as always, excellent, and dialogue and characterisation is superb.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9afcb39c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b0d9fcc) out of 5 stars Lots of chaos, not much character development 25 Aug. 2013
By Alt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A Russian Special Sciences agent has been possessed by an Ogdru spirit. The B.P.R.D. wants to track him down in Scotland and Carla Giarocco gets the assignment. Mayhem ensues. Meanwhile, ersatz Nazis are trying to restore Rasputin's soul to a new body. Demons and monsters arise on several fronts, including one that looks like a large, multi-legged penis.

Unsurprisingly, there's quite a bit of blood and gore to round out a plotline that's heavy on mumbo jumbo and light on character development. All the chaos and destruction is fun, but the "to be continued" nature of the story is disappointing. The many pages devoted to "bonus art" and sketches could have been used to further the story.

Some of the artwork is ordinary and some is a little goofy (a monster that looks like a penis fish with herpes had me chuckling), but some pages are chilling. On the whole, I enjoyed the art and the story so it merits a weak four stars, but this volume is a lesser entry in the series.
HASH(0x9ba12a8c) out of 5 stars Chaos and The Master 27 Aug. 2013
By Andy Shuping - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
ARC provided by NetGalley

First of all I have to say I haven't caught up on Hellboy...and that definitely affects the reading of the story as I have no idea what happened in the rain of frogs or who some of the characters are or their relationships with each other, but I'm doing my best to catch up quickly. The overall story in this volume is quite excellent and its quite easy to follow and get caught up in the excitement and the mystery. Having "The Master" come back from the dead after so many years away and the twists and turns of trying to figure out which is the true master and which is a fake is most intriguing. I find it interesting that one of the folks that might be The Master has the power to mutate creatures, just a look at a dog can turn him into a wild ravening beast bent on destruction.

One of the things I enjoy most about the Hellboy universe is that even though they all work of Mignola's original design, the artists always bring their own unique twists and talents to the world and this collection is no exception. I love seeing how they capture the characters in watercolors, pen and ink, and the other mediums and the unique elements they provide to the characters. And the art in this collection is no exception. Some of my favorite scenes deal with the ghosts haunting the shores of Scotland as the agents attempt to take out The Master. The imagery created in these scenes is just fantastic.

If you're an avid Hellboy/BPRD fan then this is definitely the book for you. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.
HASH(0x9ba22f3c) out of 5 stars Going Its Own Way 19 Aug. 2013
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Since this is book 6 of the series, you've likely read the other books and ready for the continuing story. If you haven't read the other books in the series, this will probably be confusing and a lot of the punch will be lost since you won't have backgrounds on the characters from the Hellboy universe.

This issue continues the long story arc, dealing with The Master who has amassed a cult following and is trying to dredge up all kinds of nasties. A group of human BPRDers fight through most of the volume to get to The Master's lair in Scottland - and end up having to fight wave after wave of difficult humans, monsters, beasts.

Meanwhile, things aren't so peachy back at the BPRD office. Dissent, unhappiness, and a lot of mysterious goings-ons and strange characters are complicating the plot even more.

I think die-hard Hellboy fans will likely be a bit disappointed since Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and others are noticeably missing from the story. But the artist and writers do a great job of creating a fantastical story despite - and keep the reader interested as a result.

Received as an ARC from the publisher.
HASH(0x9ae686e4) out of 5 stars Great art and lots of interesting characters 4 Oct. 2013
By Wayne A McCoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is volume 6 in a series. It is a direct continuation of previous events and is not a stand alone work. Without the previous issues, or knowledge of characters in the Hellboy universe, you might expect to be a bit on the confused side.

But, if you like battles with strange monsters and you like Hellboy, then this is a great book, but you should probably read the previous volumes first. There are gruesome monsters that evolve and ooze and are nothing like I've seen in other works.

The work by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi is good and there are a huge range of characters, which are all unique and easy to identify. Sometimes in huge character books, the artistic style can blur characters together, but I had no trouble distinguishing, so that speaks to good artistic ability. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but there is also about 40 pages of sketches and character development that i found interesting.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b0d9990) out of 5 stars good value 10 Mar. 2014
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Arrived just as described clean no creases bought this as a gift for my boyfriend saved money and a trip to comic shop
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