Where would sci-fi/horror be without Alien? Without Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, the entire sub-genre of sneaking around poorly lit industrial basements—IN SPACE!!—might never have happened. There’d be no Lily C.A.T.* The Mystery Science Theater classic Space Mutiny would miss some of its best jokes. And War on Frogs #2, too, the latest B.P.R.D. side story, would disappear.
SOMEONE needs proactiv...
The Obligatory Warning: gore. Lots of it.
War on Frogs #2 is only tangentially related to War on Frogs #1, a B.P.R.D. comic of last summer. Where #1 showcased Roger the homunculus aerating several frogs with a machine gun, #2 follows a few Bureau flunkies who are quickly reduced to red-shirt frog fodder. There are reports of Frog activity near an abandoned WWII ship on “the
Coast,” so a B.P.R.D. team is sent to investigate.
The unfortunate Bureau grunts are quickly (and somewhat predictably) trapped in the ship, and picked off, one by one, by a single frog. As I hinted above, the basic idea—cramped spaces, slimy monsters, big guns—is an undoubtedly fruitful one, but writer John Arcudi can’t get the good out of it. He fails to convey the scenario’s fear and excitement on an emotional level: the reader knows they should be scared, but aren’t. The characters have a lot of definition, given their milk-in-the-sun shelf life—but that definition never compels the reader to care.
John Severin’s style, though evocative, is too attuned to detail to scare successfully. He’s also occasionally inconsistent: the fresh-faced recruit looks twenty at times and thirty-five at others. The layout (which is probably part Arcudi’s design) is also troublesome: too many close-ups, like in War on Frogs #1. When the setting is supposed to carry the story’s atmosphere, it’s counter-productive to spend more panels on facial expressions than background.
Worth the money? Only for really hard-core fans. Casual readers curious with the B.P.R.D. can find Arcudi at the top of his game (which, normally, is excellent) in the ongoing B.P.R.D. series.
*Scifi channel’s Saturday Anime ran only the best cartoons.