Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: B.P.R.D. VAMPIRE #3

B.P.R.D. VAMPIRE #3 (OF 5)
DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Mike Mignola, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon
ART: Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Clem Robins
COVER: Fábio Moon
EDITOR: Scott Allie
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S. (May 2013)

Mike Mignola, Gabriel Bá, and Fábio Moon have united for B.P.R.D.: Vampire, a five-issue miniseries. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (the B.P.R.D. or BPRD) protects America and the rest of the world from the occult, the paranormal, and the supernatural. Beginning with its own title, B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth, the B.P.R.D. series focuses on the team and sometimes individual agents.

B.P.R.D.: Vampire is a direct sequel to B.P.R.D.: 1948 and is separate from the main B.P.R.D. series. Set in 1948, Vampire follows Agent Simon Anders and his quest for revenge against a clan of vampires and its Gorgon-eyed queen, Hecate. After consulting “witch maps,” Anders travels to Cesky Krumlov, Czechoslovakia. There, he and his guide, Hana Novarov, who is from the Krumlov History Museum, begin a quest to find Krumlov Castle.

As B.P.R.D.: Vampire #3 opens, Anders and Hana find the castle, or actually, they fall into it. Once inside, Anders meets the conniving sisters, Katharina and Annaliese. His big meeting is with the master of the castle, who tells him of a horrific bargain he made centuries ago. It turns out, however, that both Anders and the master have things to learn, but will the bloodthirsty Anders stay calm long enough to learn anything?

Individual issues of the B.P.R.D.: Vampire series are quick reads. There is not a lot of dialogue and little exposition, but the main reason this is a quick read is because the story is so engaging it just demands to be read.

I can’t help but race through the pages to view the visually arresting art by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, with its graphically striking colors by Dave Stewart. Stylistically and visually, this series recalls the early black and white horror films of Italian filmmaker, Mario Bava (Black Sunday).

Also, the story twists and turns like a reptile in clumsy hands, waiting to strike the unprepared, but attracted reader with revelations and with changes in character. B.P.R.D.: Vampire is heading for a smashing ending.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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