Abe Sapien #4

by Sean Tonelli on July 03, 2013

Abe Sapien #4
Unlike most mainstream comics, Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D. universe isn’t afraid to shake things up. Having just recently re-read Mike Mignola’s Hellboy saga, it amazes me just how far along Mignola’s universe is. While events in previous the serieses offer high stakes actions, the world itself has now succumb to the darkness that Mignola’s characters had been trying to prevent for decades, even centuries. The world as the characters know it, has changed forever and it’s not coming back.
Abe Sapien #4 deals with the fallout of this changed world, where everyone living is now a survivor and the toll it takes to make it in the new world. When the book opens we find Abe, alone, having just arrived at the Salton Sea, looking for answers as to how the world should move past this Armageddon. Abe then runs into a trio of survivors, and after breaking bread, one of them attack’s Abe declaring him a monster. New world, same as the old.
Mignola and Arcudi have crafted a very philosophical book. The two use Abe as a placeholder for the reader, with him waxing philosophically on the issues of humanity and whether there is hope for us in the wasteland of society. What Abe and the reader find out, is that no matter what happens, people will always be people, for better or for worse. Some good, some bad and everything in between.
Fiumara’s gritty artwork help gives the book it’s sense of aimless wandering. Each ragged panel reflects Abe’s run down soul as his journey is met with the same predjudices he’s faced for his entire life. It’s worth noting the excellent way that Fiumara handles the flashbacks, as the stories being told within the book are amalgamated almost dreamily within the background of the panels. It’s a subtle yet brilliant strategy that pays off handsomely and manages to keep things moving.
Abe Sapien #4: The New Race of Man Part 1 (of 2) looks to be the thinking man’s book this month. With B.P.R.D. resting heavily on the action side of things, it’s nice to escape into the mind frame of Abe as he brings us along on his journey. This book is also a great jumping on point for those looking to get in on the action as many of the events from the past are re-capped nicely.
Abe Sapien #4: The New Race of Man Part 1 (of 2)
Story: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art: Max Fiumara
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Cover: Max Fiumara
Publisher: Mike Richardson for Dark Horse Comics

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