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B.P.R.D. (series)

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B.P.R.D. is a line of comic books about the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense organisation. It is a spin-off of the Hellboy series.

Publication HistoryEdit

The B.P.R.D. series made its first appearance as a serialised three-page teaser in Dark Horse Extra #42-44 from December 2001 to February 2002 to advertise the upcoming miniseries Hollow Earth. Following the initial minseries, a series of one-shots by various writers and artists were produced which would fill the second trade. The next miniseries, Plague of Frogs marked a turning point for the series. Mike Mignola took on writing duties for this story, and began develop ongoing plotlines. Mike Mignola has maintained a writing credit on all subsequent B.P.R.D. stories. This minseries has often been cited by critics as the story that gave the series its direction. Appropriately, this minseries gave the first story cycle its title. Plague of Frogs was also the story that established Guy Davis as the ongoing artist.

Beginning with the short story Born Again, John Arcudi came aboard B.P.R.D. as the series' co-writer and he has done the bulk of the writing ever since, with Mike Mignola focusing more on the "big picture" stuff.

In 2010 the series began its second major story cycle, Hell on Eath, resulting in a logo change and an extended title. In 2011 Guy Davis retired as the ongoing artist, passing the baton onto Tyler Crook.

A full list of B.P.R.D. stories can be found here: List of B.P.R.D. stories

Types of StoriesEdit

B.P.R.D. covers a wide range of stories. Unlike other Hellboy spin-offs, there is no one central character.

Plague of Frogs cycleEdit

see also: List of B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs stories

This story cycle was the primary ongoing plotline from 2002-2010. It was retroactively given the title Plague of Frogs when collected in omnibus editions. It primarily dealt with the B.P.R.D.'s conflict with the frog monsters, the Sub-terranian race, and Memnan Saa.

Hell on Earth cycleEdit

see also: List of B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth stories

This is a direct continuation from the events of the Plague of Frogs cycle. It is the primary ongoing B.P.R.D. plotline from 2010 to present day. This cycle deals with the fallout out of Liz torching the Hollow Earth in King of Fear and the onset of the end of the world.

Hell on Earth has seen an increase in the volume of material released. In addition to the primary plotline which continues to come out on a monthly basis, there are side stories as well with a shift of focus on the regular B.P.R.D. agents.

Secret Origins trilogyEdit

see also: List of B.P.R.D. Secret Origins stories

There are three miniseries that deal with the early years of the B.P.R.D., 1946 (2008), 1947 (2009) and 1948 (planned for release late 2012). Originally this series was going to have a semi-regular release with roughly one miniseries coming out every year. "We're hoping to do B.P.R.D.: 1947, B.P.R.D.: 1948, B.P.R.D.: 1949, and into the fifties," said Mignola shortly before the release of 1946.

This series was to be handled by Joshua Dysart in much the same way the regular series is handled by John Arcudi. However, after 1947 Joshua Dysart left the series for unknown reasons and the final miniseries, 1948 has been written by Arcudi. Mike Mignola has said he felt he had too many series going on and needed to refocus his energies, which is likely the reason this series came to a premature close.

1946 and 1947 were originally number volumes 9 and 13 of the original B.P.R.D. trade collections, but since the printing of the Plague of Frogs omnibuses all reprints have been unnumbered. 1948, which was first printed after the omnibuses, has never been numbered.

VampireEdit

see also: List of B.P.R.D. Vampire stories

Vampire is a B.P.R.D. flashback story cycle, following on after the Secret Origins trilogy. It focuses on Agent Simon Anders as he hunts down vampires. The series is written by Mike Mignola with Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. Bá and Moon also draw the comic.

OthersEdit

Other stories do not fit neatly into any of the above categories. This handful of stories has been collected in the trade B.P.R.D.: Being Human, an unnumbered B.P.R.D. volume.

NumberingEdit

Although B.P.R.D. has been released as a series of miniseries and one-shots, in addition to numbers within a given miniseries, it also has an ongoing numbering system on the inside cover for the series overall.

In 2012, coinciding with the release of the 100th issue of B.P.R.D., the ongoing numbering would be listed on the front cover. This was because many readers seemed to think any B.P.R.D. story with a #1 on it was a jumping on point. B.P.R.D. has always been a series of miniseries, but from issue 100 onwards, there was a concentrated effort to emphasise the ongoing nature of the story. Flashback stories, such as 1948 and Vampire no longer carry the ongoing numbering.[1]

  1. Hollow Earth #1
  2. Hollow Earth #2
  3. Hollow Earth #3
  4. The Soul of Venice
  5. Dark Waters
  6. Night Train
  7. There's Something Under My Bed
  8. Plague of Frogs #1
  9. Plague of Frogs #2
  10. Plague of Frogs #3
  11. Plague of Frogs #4
  12. Plague of Frogs #5
  13. The Dead #1
  14. The Dead #2
  15. The Dead #3
  16. The Dead #4
  17. The Dead #5
  18. The Black Flame #1
  19. The Black Flame #2
  20. The Black Flame #3
  21. The Black Flame #4
  22. The Black Flame #5
  23. The Black Flame #6
  24. The Universal Machine #1
  25. The Universal Machine #2
  26. The Universal Machine #3
  27. The Universal Machine #4
  28. The Universal Machine #5
  29. Garden of Souls #1
  30. Garden of Souls #2
  31. Garden of Souls #3
  32. Garden of Souls #4
  33. Garden of Souls #5
  34. Killing Ground #1
  35. Killing Ground #2
  36. Killing Ground #3
  37. Killing Ground #4
  38. Killing Ground #5
  39. 1946 #1
  40. 1946 #2
  41. 1946 #3
  42. 1946 #4
  43. 1946 #5
  44. War On Frogs #1
  45. The Ectoplasmic Man
  46. The Warning #1
  47. The Warning #2
  48. The Warning #3
  49. The Warning #4
  50. The Warning #5
  51. War On Frogs #2
  52. The Black Goddess #1
  53. The Black Goddess #2
  54. The Black Goddess #3
  55. The Black Goddess #4
  56. The Black Goddess #5
  57. War On Frogs #3
  58. 1947 #1
  59. 1947 #2
  60. 1947 #3
  61. 1947 #4
  62. 1947 #5
  63. War On Frogs #4
  64. King of Fear #1
  65. King of Fear #2
  66. King of Fear #3
  67. King of Fear #4
  68. King of Fear #5
  69. Hell on Earth: New World #1
  70. Hell on Earth: New World #2
  71. Hell on Earth: New World #3
  72. Hell on Earth: New World #4
  73. Hell on Earth: New World #5
  74. Hell on Earth: Gods #1
  75. Hell on Earth: Gods #2
  76. Hell on Earth: Gods #3
  77. The Dead Remembered #1
  78. The Dead Remembered #2
  79. The Dead Remembered #3
  80. Hell on Earth: Monsters #1
  81. Hell on Earth: Monsters #2
  82. Hell on Earth: Russia #1
  83. Hell on Earth: Russia #2
  84. Hell on Earth: Russia #3
  85. Hell on Earth: Russia #4
  86. Hell on Earth: Russia #5
  87. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1
  88. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #2
  89. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1
  90. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #3
  91. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #2
  92. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine #1
  93. Hell on Earth: The Transformation of J.H. O'Donnell
  94. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine #2
  95. Hell on Earth: Exorcism #1
  96. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine #3
  97. Hell on Earth: Exorcism #2
  98. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master #1
  99. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master #2
  100. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master (Part 3)
  101. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master (Part 4)
  102. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master (Part 5)
  103. Hell on Earth: The Abyss of Time (Part 1)
  104. Hell on Earth: The Abyss of Time (Part 2)
  105. Hell on Earth: A Cold Day in Hell (Part 1)
  106. Hell on Earth: A Cold Day in Hell (Part 2)
  107. Hell on Earth: Wasteland (Part 1)
  108. Hell on Earth: Wasteland (Part 2)
  109. Hell on Earth: Wasteland (Part 3)
  110. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire (Part 1)
  111. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire (Part 2)
  112. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire (Part 3)
  113. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire (Part 4)
  114. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire (Part 5)
  115. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame (Part 1)
  116. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame (Part 2)
  117. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame (Part 3)
  118. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame (Part 4)
  119. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame (Part 5)

CollectionsEdit

Trade PaperbacksEdit

see also B.P.R.D. Trade Paperback Collections
see also B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Trade Paperback Collections

All in-continuity B.P.R.D. stories are collected into trade paperbacks eventually. So far there has been fifteen volumes, plus an additional four for B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth. The standard trades usually contain a sketchbook or gallery and most stories come with an afterword by one of the authors.

Omnibus EditionsEdit

see also B.P.R.D. Omnibus Editions

The Plague of Frogs cycle has been collected in omnibus editions with expanded sketchbooks. Whether other B.P.R.D. stories will be collected in this manner remains to be seen.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Khouri, Andy, "'B.P.R.D.' Renumbers From Issue #100 In October", Comics Alliance, 2012/8/22
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