Published on May 10th, 2022 | by Chris O'Connor
B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know TPB review
Summary: The conclusion to the B.P.R.D. as we know it, the final moments of Ragna Rok and the machinations of Varvara.
I was fortunate enough to read these issues as they were released… but I am even more fortunate to have been able to read them again in this collected form. The story is such a massive collection of events, people’s experiences, locations, battles, that it just feels better being able to grab one book and read from start to finish. I will warn you though, you may need a box of tissues because all bets are off… this is Ragna Rok and no one is safe. The B.P.R.D. as we know it will not come out the other side of this… the world will not be the same.
As mentioned… there’s a lot to take in here. It’s not overwhelming per se… though you could get overwhelmed, it’s more a case of there are no wasted pages, no casual building up to things. No gentle rolling towards an event… this is foot mashing the accelerator to the floor the world crumbling around you and those parts that aren’t crumbling are exploding as hordes of nightmare fuel creatures swarm the landscape. There are many story elements to keep track of and to follow as they come to their conclusions… some will intersect, others will take different paths… but it is all engaging and will frequently take your breath away.
I’d kind of like to call the art maximum minimalist. By that I mean that intricate details have been removed and many people and scenery elements are reduced to their essential components. In doing so there’s less “artistic chaos” in the panels and key details can be drawn out with much more potency. In some cases, features are “fleshed out” via the colouring rather than via linework and shading… the bridge of a nose might be hinted at with different tones on either side of a highlight down the length rather than having solid inked in lines. The result is a somewhat more ethereal “remembered” or “dreamed” feel to the images. But to be clear… this doesn’t mean the images are simplistic at all, in fact it’s impressive how stripping away a lot of the lines of fine detail actually seems to free the images to get their job done in a cleaner manner.
I loved this collection when I first read it in broken up form… I love it even more in this collected format and of course I love the bonus material in the back… the “making of” pages. If you haven’t read this series yet then absolutely grab a copy… without question. If you have already read it… I’d still say it might be worth grabbing this edition for the sake of having it all collected together and for that bonus insight at the end for how it came together. For me it’s a must grab!
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artist: Laurence Campbell, Christopher Mitten
Colourist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure
Format: 432pgs, FC, TPB
Release Date: 25th May, 2022