Those in the know recognize Abe Sapien as a support character from Mignola’s Hellboy franchise. Anyone unaware will need to see that this odd amphibian-slash-man has psychic powers and an amazing intellect. Everything else about Abe can be garnered from this issue.
We start off with a ritualistic sacrifice involving a Justin Bieber t-shirt and a virgin sacrifice. The action flips to the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense headquarters where the group gets status updates on the supernatural.
Of note is that key agent Abe Sapien is still missing. Unbeknownst to the Bureau, the agent still operates undercover researching the heavy presence of paranormal monsters popping up all over the world. A dialogue-heavy scene with some hobos on a train car explains how the world has been going haywire since Hellboy’s demise.
Aside from the opening scene with the human sacrifice, not much action happens in this book. The only battle with a monster happens off panel, so there’s no excitement to be had.
This is a slow paced, dialogue and explication heavy issue. That’s a shame for a first issue of a comic. I understand that Hellboy fans will enjoy the connections to the overall Mignolaverse, but the brutally sluggish establishment of Abe’s world will leave first-time readers with little enthusiasm to continue.
I know that this series will be as outstanding as Mignola’s other works. The only problem is that a first issue has to have some bang to go along with all the words.
Writers: Mike Mingola and Scott Allie
Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 4/3/13