B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Russia #3

Comic book, 2011

My enjoyment of B.P.R.D.’s new artist, Tyler Crook, has been experiencing diminishing returns ever since his debut four issues ago. I really liked him on his first issue. I thought his art strode a line between cartooning and realism that allowed him to be very expressive, human and relatable, not unlike his predecessor. But since then I’ve increasingly found his line to be too stiff and controlled, his constructions too cartoony and tangible, to fit the wild, dirty, indiscriminately evil, and most of all scary, world of B.P.R.D. I was ready to have my opinion of Crook cemented in this issue, but something weird happened midway through. There are some bad drawings in this issue. Real bad. Not stylistically bad, but inept. But that poor quality brought a rawness and a realism to the story that most of his more competent work lacks. So, that happened. Is it him heading off to a new direction that I think will work better? Has B.P.R.D. finally gone Picturebox? Probably not. But I was given hope by a couple of the monsters here. He nails the last panel of the book pretty hard and the unmasking of Verlacz wasn’t too shabby either.

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