I really dug the first two issues of this series, but this particular issue read like an extension of the previous making it difficult to read and have it stand on its own. It’s not bad by any means, but without the reading experience of the first two issues you’ll be completely lost with this one. If you read the first two issues then really you can skip the review and should just pick up the third issue already. Picking up almost literally after the events of the second issue, Abe runs to save the Preacher that was actually kind to him during these dark times on the planet. The thing is the Preacher thinks that turning into a monster is a good thing and no one’s having that bullshit. Even Abe thinks he’s stupid, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to hang the man who is already under way. As the Preacher dies he says something that triggers a memory in Abe which gets him punched in the back of the head. The fighting continues until the Preacher transforms into a monster and everyone freaks out.
The Preacher beings attacking the city and Abe chases after him, but the other people who were afflicted also change into monsters. There’s a lot of fighting after that; between monsters, between humans and monsters and basically Abe versus whoever gets in his way. Then the BPRD arrives and begins shooting the shit out of the Preacher who has grown about three stories high. It doesn’t end there though as not nearly enough people have died.
This is a very action packed issue and while it’s reliant upon the previous issue, it’s still very good. I especially like the BPRD’s decision at the end to stop chasing Abe and let him do his own thing. It should be a lot more interesting to follow Abe now and see what he plans on doing in this world that is turning to shit. The deaths don’t really have a lot of meaning in this issue, but they feel like they should. I have no suggestions on what to do differently to fix it other than not draw so much attention to the cannon fodder.
The art is killer on this series and is definitely my favorite part. At first it looks like the artist is making a stylistic choice with Abe’s design; he’s more amphibious looking now than before. That is until a flashback scene in which we see the familiar Abe that the Mignolaverse began with. It’s clear that Abe has gone through physical changes and the art captures that perfectly. I really enjoy both looks of Abe and I wonder when and if it will be explained at all. Otherwise the action was easy to follow, even with all the destruction.
If this is your first issue, then come back next month. Usually I find that the Mignolaverse titles manage to have continuously great jumping on points for new readers, but that didn’t happen here. It’s a good issue, but you’ll be lost for sure if this is your first. I’m glad that this arc of the series has ended and I’m looking forward to Abe’s self-discovery beginning. It’s interesting because Hellboy is discovering this about himself on his own as well making the two journeys interesting. I wonder if they’ll share any parallel’s in the future.
Writer: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Artist: Sebastian Fiumara
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 6/5/13