Story – Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art – Sebastian Fiumara
Colors – Dave Stewart
Letters – Clem Robins
Cover – Max Fiumara
Published by Dark Horse
As a fan of the B.P.R.D. Universe there have been ups and downs over the last couple of years. We saw Mignola return to art duties on the highly anticipated Hellboy in Hell, and then saw the series dry up and blow away. We saw miniseries such as B.P.R.D. 1948, a highlight for me, and B.P.R.D. Vampire, a so-so effort in my opinion. Now, there is the Abe Sapien ongoing series that began earlier this year. Abe Sapien is my kind of book. It might be a bit slow paced for some fans that thrilled to Hellboy’s monster hunting adventures, but for me the pace is perfect for building the character and really getting into the head of the tortured, former agent of the B.P.R.D.
This issue begins as a woman is chasing a wolf through the desert in Yuma, Arizona. She literally stumbles upon Abe and nearly shoots him with the rifle she carries. The woman, whose name is Elena, recognizes Abe as the famous B.P.R.D. monster hunter and invites him back to her camp of survivors, most of which are immigrants that were either released or escaped from a brutal Deportation Camp. The group welcomes Abe and they share a meal and some drinks around the campfire. We learn that Elena has been searching for her father, who started wandering the desert when monsters started invading. Elena’s father is believed to be a shape-shifter and it is implied that Elena thinks that the wolf she was chasing from the start may have been him. We also learn a lot more about Abe’s internal torment. He isn’t running away from what is going on, he is searching for himself and his place in the world. We don’t know yet if Abe has something to do with the outbreak of monsters, even he is confused by what’s happening. Just when he thinks he is close to an answer it slips away again and he clearly misses his brother, Red.
I absolutely love this book. It is so different, at least for me, from all of the other books that have taken place in Mignola’s world of myths and monsters. The writing from Mignola and Allie just seems deeper and more thoughtful than the earlier Hellboy and B.P.R.D. series. It really takes you into Abe’s thoughts and emotional state like never before. You see his struggle to find where he fits in and how he is torn between the human world and a life of solitude.
The art is spectacular, Sebastian Fiumara and Dave Stewart brighten up and detail Abe’s world like we haven’t seen in the B.P.R.D. Universe before. The shadows and shapes of Mignola’s art are gone, replaced with daytime desert scenes and detailed features. The cover art by Max Fiumara, brother of artist Sebastian, invokes the feeling of old pulp-horror comics…right up my alley! As I said earlier Abe Sapien may not be for everyone, but as a fan of horror indies and Mignola’s Hellboy Universe in general, it is becoming a personal favorite of mine. It is for these reasons that I am fully authorized by the B.P.R.D. to give Abe Sapien #6 – The Shape Of Things To Come part 1 a solid…
5 out of 5 nerds.