Abe Sapien Dark and Terrible #1 (March – 2013 – Dark Horse)

Abe Sapien Dark and Terrible #1

Abe Sapien is on the run but from what? Upon awakening from a coma, Abe disappears, leaving the B.P.R.D. questioning his motives, in a time when they desperately need his help.
Thick with story, this 1 of 3 parts begins with a decidedly evil bang. In a satanic ritual that fails, it seems Hellboy: In Hell may actually be sweeping continuity since HB killed “you know who” in that series. Due to the disappearance and unknown whereabouts of Abe, Director Corrigan is having a meltdown amid the bureau’s apathy to the current situation of gigantic demons and crab men.
On a train, inside a boxcar, we find Abe and a small group of hobos. This is significant because of the clues dropped by these hobos about vampire fungus, crab men in Georgia and a strange growth on the arm of one.

Reminiscent of 70’s horror mags and comics, Sebastian Fiumara uses a distinctly retro style that keeps us consciously aware: this IS horror! It’s interesting as well, the layout of panels; from 4 to 8 panels per page, allowing for tons of content without cramping the art. This is not an easy thing to do and Fiumara is kind of showing off for our pleasure. I personally appreciate it.

I hate to sound like a broken record but I REALLY REALLY LIKE Dave Stewart! I literally want to eat this guy’s color palette. Dark in tone, the book is not victimized by muted colors. Instead, Stewart uses gradients to darken the rich colors he is so fond of using. It is very effective and keeps your eyes on the page. The wash-like effects he is creating are stunning and reminiscent of water colors or gouache.

With the launch of this mini-series, one question stands out to me: Is Abe running away from something or to something? Either way, the Abe Sapien character is undergoing some serious development and that makes me very happy.
With the ever-increasing popularity and expansion of the B.P.R.D., Abe looks to be a key figure, as well he should. Is he running to find out more of his past? Is he running away from something to be later revealed? Will I be able to make it until the next issue without completely obsessing? And what about that variant cover by Max Fiumara with Red riding a bat/bull demon thingy and attacking Abe with text that reads May 1982 Calcutta, India? Whaaaaa?

Abe Sapien is a mystery in the DH MIgnolaverse. There are a bunch of questions that beg to be answered and I have great hopes that at least some of them will be answered here.

Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible issue #1 is available from Dark Horse Comics.

Next Time: The Last Zombie TPB

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