B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs 3

Quick Rating: A timeout while the pinch-hitter warms up
Title: Plague of Frogs, Part 3

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Guy Davis
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Scott Allie

In this issue, members of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense recover from the helicopter crash at the end of the last issue. Pursuing their investigation of the town that amphibians remembered, Johann develops some animosity for the local inhabitants, a cult of frog men led by a shrouded freak. Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman are put through the wringer. Kate Corrigan, mild-mannered professor, struggles to rescue her comrades and herself. Roger is left off-camera.

I can’t help but wonder if this series could have started with this issue. The opening is far more dramatic and the movement seems far less ponderous. I’m not sure if that is the sort of idea that an editor should have considered, but I don’t know for certain what the role of an editor is on a creator-controlled book. Think about it—could an editor ever go to a writer and an artist and say that the first forty pages ought to be cut because they just don’t add much. No comic book publisher is going to scrap perfectly reasonable pages. Take it even further- how do you edit out a panel?

Of course there is a long comic history of text and art being pasted over, but that generally seemed to be for the sake of accuracy or corporate policy. Yet no one looks at the finished art and cuts things here and there just for the sake of clarity or story movement. It was all supposed to be caught long before that point. (I’m more than willing to be wrong here if you have any anecdotes that apply.) Film most notably has a variety of hands pruning the finished product after the art has been created.

Yes, you could jump on in the middle of the story here. It might be a little confusing, but this is a rip-roaring good issue. The art is fantastic, as always when you see the name Guy Davis. If you’ve been a longtime Hellboy reader, then you should definitely jump in now (if you’re still standing by the side of the pool). All signs point to dramatic developments for the entire cast.

June, 2004

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