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BPRD The Devil You Know - Ragna Rok

Review by Paul D Houston

Most people know of the character, Hellboy, right? BPRD - RAGNA ROK, is basically the story of this characters final end. Like for real. I know in comics that just doesn't happen, but Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Comics really mean it with this one.

It's also the end of the entire Hellboy universe which Dark Horse Comics has published for years and years. Look, I have not seen the most recent Hellboy movie, nor am I in any hurry to do so. I did see the earlier ones done. years ago, starring Ron Perlman, but was not a fan. That said, I am a huge fan of the Hellboy comic by Mike Mignola and friends. Hellboy as a comic book character is one of my all time favorites, ever and forever. It is so dark and silly, adventurous and spooky as all get out. It is one of the most unique comic books of all time in my opinion. And I understand how the movies and their writers and directors didn't "get it" as far as the comic book character goes and the universe he inhabits. It just doesn't translate, if we can be honest.

The comic book, BPRD has long been one of my favorites too. Its a group of super and non-super characters fighting the supernatural on Earth and beyond. Sometimes Hellboy is in it, sometimes not. And that's ok, as the other main characters in the book are freaking awesome too. Particularly, Liz and Abe Sapien. So, BPRD Ragna Rok is the end to their story as well, and overall it's made me very sad, to see this long running story come to end. I loved reading this comic for years and years. And maybe it's no surprise then, that I just hated this book.

Ragna Rok, is the ending to this huge gigantic story thats been building and breathing for years. But this final concluding chapter, is rushed, has huge plot jumps, gigantic leaps in logic and a really unfitting end to all of these characters and the many plot lines that festered in the years of comics that were published.

I appreciate that Mike Mignola, the guy who started all of this was there at the end, doing exactly what he wanted and ending it in such a succinct manner. But, to be honest it was a shitty conclusion. Not well written at all. It felt like Mignola was just tired of it all and just hurried the fuck up and to put it all to bed.

- Spoiler Alert-

All the main characters die. Hellboy dies, after he unceremoniously saves the day, way too easily. He literally, chokes a dude out. a dude who was cracking the earth open and supposedly held the will of 6 of the 7 Ogdru Jahad dragons, the fiercest pieces of shit, existence ever saw. After doing that, he goes and meets his other great enemy, Hecate, who's now just a casket full of spikes. He goes inside her and is squashed to pieces by the spikes, his blood flowing out and becoming some new river which gives birth to new humanoid/amphibian species. Nothing is said as to what happens to Hecate after that, mind you.

And Abe dies too. The big baddy Rasputin, now the avatar for the Ogdru Jahad, just snaps him in half. Abe falls into the ocean and some eggs leak out of his body. Eggs that become the new human/amphibian species many many years later.

Liz, watches Hellboy defeat Rasputin, then burns the whole Earth over to kill off the last of the Odgru Hem, the giant squishy gross monsters that serve the Ogdru Jahad. Then she goes into a stasis sort of state inside an amber crystal that floats above the ground, way in the future.

The other non-super characters of the book find refuge under the ground in caves and basically thats it. Except, there's no subtle writing, no really good bits to grab you emotionally, nothing worth the investment a fan spent years and years over. The whole 15 issues of this storyline was a very cold, poorly written conclusion.

It bothered me.

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