ABE SAPIEN: DARK & TERRIBLE #3

Review by: Lawless

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Avg Rating: 4.3
 
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Writer: Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Sebastián Fiumara

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.50

Ah…feel that? That’s the breath of fresh air that is Abe Spain #3 Dark & Terrible, “Terrible” being defiantly the antithesis when describing this book!

This now “on going” sires is the “missing link” in the Hellboy universe as long time B-list character Abe Spain finally gets his time in the spotlight. I have always been a fan of Abe and have found him often more compelling and relatable then Hellboy. Abe is a man that has become a creature of this apocalyptic world rather then a monster (HB) that tries to become a man. HB and Abe have always been great together but Abe has never really got the apprehension and recognition that the character deserves. With Hellboy off playing dead in the neither realm Mignola & Allie have set Abe up to take up the mantle as the new wondering bad ass monster on the side of angels fighting other monsters. His new transformation into a stronger Abe is as physically interesting as it is symbolically.

The thing that really makes this issue amazing though is the step up in art from Sebastián Fiumara. He really cuts lose this issue showing that he can balance high action with horror wile rendering incredible detail. This is no small skill and really shows that he is ready to take his place in the pantheon of great horror artists that this line has seen. In my opinion he has surpassed his brother as he delivers a true artistic fest for the eyes.

All this of course would not be possible with out the glue that is Dave Stewart keeping the HB universe feeling cohesive across the book line.

In conclusion this issue has put this book at the forefront for me of the Hellboy/B.P.R.D line of books. Abes the man! (Well…the fishman.)

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent

Comments

  1. Great review for a real up & coming ongoing that could put Hellboy in Hell on the back burner!

  2. I disagree, I’ve always found Hellboy very relatable. Abe is fun too, but none of his mini-series have really wowed me, maybe because I never buy that he can handle physical threats like HB, Roger, or Liz. I tried the first issue but was kind of lost (I’ve only read up to vol.4 or 5 of BPRD). It’s not hard to imagine this being better than Hellboy in Hell tho, would you still recommend this book for me?

    • I can see your point about Hellboy being relatable. I think it has to do with when I started reading, I got into B.P.R.D when it first came out years ago having read Hellboy in trade before that so it may be that I got more invested in Abe over the years then Big Red, but don’t get me wrong I love them both. I also agree with you that he has never really been physically imposing as HB but you might not know that just before this series he underwent a BIG tansformation. This more than anything in this issue really sets up Abe to be “the new Hellboy” as he fights and holds his own against some serious monsters. This is the strongest issue so far and much better then the previous mini-series so I’d definitely recommend either going back and picking up the last couple of issues or starting on the next one which is the beginng of a new arc. 🙂

    • Thanks @Lawless. I just find Big Red more relatable because (at his core) he’s just a regular guy who wants to live his life, and not be what others want him to. I think the movies did a nice job of “upgrading” Abe (though I admit it might not have been necessary) so when I see him in the books I’m always thinking “man, this guy has about the same chances of a normal guy as surviving _____”. I read the first 2 Abe minis and like I said they didn’t wow me, my most prominent thought glad I didn’t pay money for this. I want Abe to have a good story tho, so I’ll check out issue 1 and 2 plus this one to see how I feel about it. You mentioned Abe undergoing a transformation which I guess happened in a recent BPRD arc (which I’m very very behind on), should I try to look up the specifics to follow what happened or just Wiki it?

    • @ithosapien the how and way are of his transformation are interesting as it happened on the first arc of this ” he’ll on earth” status quo so it may be worth a wiki. If you don’t what too much of the story ruined I can give you a milder spoiler catch up below that will hold you into the new book.

      Spoiler spoiler spoiler:
      warning!!!!!

      Abe got shot and betrayed by an agent that distrusted him because he realized that Abe looked like the frog people. Abe went into a coma from the injury’s and seemed to “die”. An arc later he regained brain function and transformed to a bigger and stronger Abe but is still in a coma. When his own book starts he has just woke and escaped the Colorado HQ. Because of his mistrust at being shot by a fellow agent he runs. The B.P.R.D unaware of the betrayal of there own agent (they thought Abe was shot by someone else) are in persecute of the escaped Abe. That’s the long and shot of it with out giving away to much, enjoy the book:)

    • Thanks @Lawless, saves me a Wiki trip and now I can try to catch up to BPRD without too much spoiled. Although the idea of Abe changing sounds like it was due to a Magic Bullet I feel like Ive got a good frame of mind to jump into this. Is it just me or is Abe just immune to dying?

      A recap page would’ve helped in the first issue but this is better.

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