The mystery deepens.
What They Say:
Abe Sapien battles his way through terrible Ogdru Hem and human monsters as the world comes crashing down around him, on his quest to reveal his own role in the end of the world.
Writer: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clem Robins
Cover Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Elder Gods, demons, and other assorted monsters walk the Earth, ravaging towns and transforming people into inhuman creatures. Abe Sapien, premiere member of the B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) is on the run. After a near-fatal attack by a co-worker, Abe went through his own transformation, becoming even more of a fish-man than he already was. Spurred on by the enigmatic Panya, Abe leaves the B.P.R.D. to discover the truth about his transformation, but hints begin to arise, pointing to a hidden truth behind his initial transformation into Ichthyo Sapien, and his role in the occurring apocalypse.
The previous issue was essentially all setup, filling in the reader on the most important facts. This issue delves deeper into the story and Abe now takes his place as the eponymous star. It moves slowly, but the character work and the plot are more satisfying this time. Abe takes shelter in a small town church. The pastor allows him to sleep, but his sermon wakes up the fleeing B.P.R.D. agent. Hiding from the townspeople, Abe listens to the pastor become more and more hysterical, riling up the congregation to the point where they drag the pastor out to lynch him. Abe intervenes, but the cliffhanger ending makes it unclear as to whether his presence is helping or hurting.
Sebastián Fiumara’s art is excellent in this issue. He employs an impressionistic, cartoony style that fits with the Gothic nature of the story, not unlike the style of Abe Sapien’s creator: Mike Mignola. Even though his new transformation erased many of his human features, Fiumara manages to impart emotion and character to Abe Sapien, which is very important given that he could easily be confused with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He also does a great job of illustrating action scenes.
Overall this second issue still feels a bit slow, but it is more engaging than the first. As an Abe Sapien fan, I’m in it for the long haul, and thankfully there is enough mystery and action here to make it a worthwhile read.
While the pacing of this title is still a little slow to my liking, the mystery behind Abe’s transformation (and perhaps his origin) coupled with the fantastic art of Sebastián Fiumara make this worth reading. Although it is suffering from a slow burn right now, it is building in momentum and I for one am looking forward to where this series will take my favorite fish-man. Recommended.