Hell Comes to Texas

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Gods #1

A new storyline and a setting shift — we’re following a group of refugees fleeing Texas. Recent events, particularly a volcano erupting in Houston and a vast array of monsters appearing throughout the state, have freaked out a lot of people, and even folks trying to get out of the state for their own safety are distrusted and abused by people who should be helping them. One large group of refugees is being led by a 16-year-old girl named Fenix. She has some sort of unspecified illness but is blessed with uncannily accurate predictive abilities and very strong leadership skills. She nixes a newcomers recommendation that they hole up in an abandoned high school football stadium and has the group stay at an empty swimming pool instead. So what did Fenix think was going to show up at the stadium?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Previous BPRD books have shortchanged the chaos the world is going through, but this does a lot to bring home how it’s affecting people. Fenix seems like a cool character, too. My initial quibble was that people wouldn’t be so hostile to refugees trying to escape from a place that lots of people describe as — literally — Hell… but then again, history is full of stories of abused and rejected refugees. Even as recently as Katrina, there were people who tried to keep refugees from fleeing New Orleans…

Knight and Squire #4

Beryl has a date with the Shrike, a fledgling superhero who she and the Knight met in the first issue of this series. She brings him to the Knight’s castle to meet Cyril. But all does not go well. The Shrike doesn’t react well to Beryl figuring out his secret identity, and Beryl doesn’t react well to his negative reaction. And the Knight’s armor has developed a mind of its own, based on his old addictions and insecurities. Can the heroes stop the rogue armor and regain their trust in each other?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of stuff to love here. I enjoyed getting a little background on the Knight’s lost years when he was an alcoholic. Meeting Cyril’s butler was nice, too — rather than being an upper-crust Brit like Bruce Wayne’s Alfred Pennyworth, the Knight’s butler is a drawling American with a proper bolo tie named Hank Hackenbacker. However, I do wish we’d get some more information about Beryl’s “communications abilities.” Are they actual superpowers or just an unusually high skill level or what? Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention, but they seem a bit undefined…

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