The Horror in the Hills

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – The Pickens County Horror #1

Here’s the beginning of a new two-issue miniseries. It’s set in a small rural county in South Carolina, during the ongoing slow destruction of the BPRD world. We start out with a small family of country vampires who discover something unexpected and terrifying out in the woods. Jump forward to a few days later, and two BPRD agents, Vaughn and Peters, arrive in Pickens County to investigate reports of a strange fog — they’re not really expecting to find anything at all, but a combination of green fog, mysterious mushrooms, figures in the dark, and a creepy academic obsessed with vampires puts both of them in serious danger.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ll be honest — almost anything titled “The Pickens County Horror” would probably get a thumbs-up from me, because it’s such a perfect horror-story title. At any rate, I got a lot of joy from the story itself — mostly mood and creepiness for now, but I’m very interested in how Mike Mignola and Scott Allie are going to combine vampires, mutant mushrooms, and apocalyptic horror.

American Vampire #25

Travis Kidd is a ’50s vampire-hunting hoodlum, facing Skinner Sweet, the original American vampire — and Sweet’s powers aren’t being negated by the new moon anymore. Does Travis have any chance to survive? Can he prevail against the vastly more powerful Skinner? Why does he have such a mad-on for Skinner anyway? Does Agent Hobbes have any part to play in all of this? And what’s Pearl Preston been up to lately?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I left all the spoilers out, ’cause this one’s darn good and has a bunch of really fun stuff buried in there. If you aren’t reading this comic… well, I really don’t know what’s the matter with you. It’s just about the best horror comic on the stands right now.

Morning Glories #17

The majority of this issue focuses on Jade and Ike, stuck sitting in a magical cavern under the academy, waiting to see if Casey and Ms. Hodge are ever going to vanish like they said they would. In fact, our spotlight character is definitely Jade, as we get plenty of flashbacks to her past. For the most part, Ike needles her, Jade reacts, sometimes furiously, sometimes sadly. It’s a very dialogue-heavy issue, as Jade and Ike discuss Casey’s trustworthiness, Jade’s suicidal tendencies, religion and atheism, and what the Morning Glory Academy may really be all about.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Like I said, an issue very heavy on dialogue — and luckily, it’s very strong, entertaining, snappy dialogue that’s fun to read, whether Ike and Jade are insulting each other or talking philosophy. The snapshots of Jade’s past are also very good. This storyarc is supposed to finish up next issue, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

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