Did Abe Sapien just become the single most important character in the Mignolaverse? You read the issue and tell me, but I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. This is going to be a collector’s item for sure, but I don’t think people will catch on until several months after. I think that it’s another tremendous issue and the series and has completely changed the world of the B.P.R.D. and Mr. Sapien forever and that’s pretty incredible considering we’re only on the fifth issue. I actually want to start by talking about the writing or better yet the writing team. I don’t know what Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s relationship is like, but I imagine that they’re pretty close due to how many issues a month they write together. Then you take in the fact that they’re likely plotting the course of this world months and months in advance and it’s pretty spectacular. I would have to say that they’re one of the most successful writing teams in comics, past or present.
Aside from the plot, they have done wonders with Abe’s character. He feels very different from before and I say that as someone who has only read a handful of stories involving him. They’ve made sure that as much as Abe’s physical form has changed, so has his personality.
The issue begins with the discovery of Barry’s body on the beach, box cutter in hand. It’s a strange turn of events as we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger in the last issue. It looked as if Barry was going to attack Abe again so finding him dead is… troubling. Gene swoops in to shoe the birds off of him and talk to the people who have surrounded his body. Gene asks them to respect his body, but one of the men is quick to throw Gene’s words back at him. He talks about Abe to the people and when Abe walks by he runs to grab him and show him the body. Abe is very shocked by Barry’s death, more so than… well everyone else on the beach.
If you really pay close attention to the dialogue you’ll be able to tell where the story is going, but for me I was so distracted by the fact that Barry was dead that I missed it. Mignola and Arcudi do a great job of dropping subtle hints and choosing the way things are presented with the characters speech. I’m not going to tell you the universe changing information, but the way it’s revealed and overlapped with the visuals is very cool.
The present day Mignolaverse is shit right now; giant fucking monsters springing up everywhere and people in general losing their minds. It’s a messy world that I would not want to live in and that’s mostly due to Max Fiumara’s art work and Dave Stewart’s coloring. There is a vibe that the art work and coloring gives off that makes this world interesting, but unwelcoming at the same time. Many times with comics the art makes you want to jump into the world and adventure with the characters. With Abe Sapien the world says, “Stay away, but watch and pay attention.” It’s powerful that way.
This is part two of the story arc, but really there aren’t a lot of details from the first issue that you need to know to read this issue and the characters recap the events all on their own as well. Also, like I said before, this is going to be a collector’s item for any Mignolaverse fan. Don’t miss it and hit yourself later when its importance becomes apparent to everyone else making it hard to find.
Writer: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Artist: Max Fiumara
Colors: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 8/7/13