BRPD Hell on Earth #109: The Wasteland Reaches a Conclusion

GameStop, Inc.

BPRD 109In a sea of comics about the end of the world and the apocalypse, B.R.P.D. Hell on Earth throws its work out there with the conclusion to the story arc Wasteland. The Black Flame has attempted to create a new race of man, forcing the BRPD to stop this plan. Liz Sherman’s lighting of a fire in the underground city of Agartha nearly cracked the world in two. Though the Black Flame was destroyed, his rebirth brings about an apocalyptic mass of devastation across the world. A team works desperately to find people in the carnage The searchers wear gas masks due to a strange gas that brings about physical changes to create vicious monsters out of those who inhale it. They arrive in the city to discover the crew members that they have searched for are dead and rotting. Only one crew member, Howards, appears to be alive but comatose. Suddenly attacked by a large mass of the mutated, the group is stunned to find Howards springing to life and attacking the gassed with a large machete-like blade.

Mike Mignolia and John Arcudi have a brutal story on their hands. In a realm of somewhat daily releases for end of the world stories, they create characters that keep the reader engaged. Lukas, the missing child at the beginning of the book, finds his mother and in a child’s love cannot tell that she has been horribly transformed. He keeps his gas mask on like he was asked, so he is not consumed as well. His struggle sinks the reader’s stomach and acts like a sort of emotional gut punch. Howards’ awakening is shocking and brutal, but necessary for the story arc. The conversation of those around him about staying out of Howards’ way is both oddly funny and realistic.

Laurence Campbell keeps the artwork in the story consistent with the work that Mignolia has done before. His art work is blocky and terrifying, relying more on what isn’t drawn to help readers feel the terror and helplessness of a hell world. Dave Stewart continues the feel of the realm with vivid crimsons and stark blacks over color. The splatter look of many of the panels give the entire book an eerie feel.

The conclusion to Wasteland gives the reader more questions than answers, but that in it’s nature is part of the charm of this series. The edges of the puzzle have been put together, and issue by issue we are filling them in with more pieces. The series is enjoyable, but I would certainly not recommend reading it before bed.

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