Review: Abe Sapien #12

It’s been a year of Abe Sapien and looking back at the series it really has moved at a snail’s pace. The thing is… that’s not a bad thing at all. Looking back at the series I couldn’t think of an issue or story arc that I didn’t enjoy. Granted it’s a hard series to consistently review because there isn’t much to say about it other than “great writing and art… yet again.” I’m going to go ahead and say that this is the best issue in the series thus far. It’s completely different from any other issue because it’s a standalone story, but it’s a hell of a standalone story.

The story is very intense and in a way shows how a normal person might cope with the situation of hell on earth. It also shows how a person with a damaged psyche might handle the situation as well. The story opens with a man sitting on the roof of a house staring at a dried riverbed. He’s waiting to see water run through the river bed in order to know that he’s in the Garden of Eden. Instead of water though, Abe arrives and the man interrupts this as the serpent entering the garden. He lines up his shot and manages to completely take Abe by surprise.

What’s different about this issue is the narration. It’s all third-person and only focuses on the man and the women that he has in the house below him. It’s crazy because he just wants to protect her, but insists that she’s quite which we learn may come from his upbringing and the expectations that his father had of him.

As for the women the narration tells us that she wants to be grateful, but she can’t. Even hearing the man move makes her scared. In a strange way she wants silence as much as he does.

I know I haven’t really said what the issue is about, but it’s just too good to spoil any aspect of it. The narration is the driving force behind the issue and it just blew me away. I’ve said from the beginning of this series that Abe Sapien is the human aspect of this world, the ground floor in dealing with hell on earth and that’s never been clearer than with this issue.

Abe Sapien #12 CoverMike Mignola and Scott Allie’s writing is blended together to create a powerful narration filled with tremendous moments. The way the woman deals with things was very believable and frankly realistic. I could see a lot of people coping the same way and that’s what made the writing so good.

The best way I can describe the art is that it’s the constant opposite of the narration. If the art shows the present there’s a good chance that the narration is talking about the past. If the art shows the past, it’s definitely talking about the future. The narration is rarely about what’s happening on the page which means that the art holds its own throughout the entire issue.

Max Fiumara brings out tons of emotions in the female character, but then shows the lack of emotions from the male character. Again it’s a contrast just like with the narration and art. What’s really impressive about the art and not something you’re likely to notice at first, is that the entire issue is told in three panel pages. Each panel has a huge level of importance because of this and Fiumara shines with his artistic and storytelling abilities.

Again, hands down this is the best issue of the series and really a great standalone issue to enjoy. Even if you didn’t come back for the next issue I would still recommend reading this issue just for it’s incredible storytelling, both writing and art.

Score: 5/5

Writers: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie Artist: Max Fiumara Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 5/14/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital