This issue is a bit of a head scratcher and not because I didn’t get the story, quite the opposite really as it felt like I had just read this issue. A lot of it felt exactly like the fourth issue with some minor tweaks and a setting change. I’m beginning to question Abe’s journey since he only seems to be stumbling between small societies and seeing how humanity is dealing with the end times. So far… no monsters have really been in the book with the exception of the mutated people in the first arc. Abe is now in Yuma Country, Arizona and runs into a woman chasing a wolf. She falls and stands up and points her gun at Abe who stands there exposed like it’s no big deal. The two begin chatting like old friends which was one of the aspects I liked, but then the woman calls him out on being Abe Sapien almost instantly. It was a calmer interaction compared to the fourth issue, but still very similar. She offers him water and food back at her camp. Abe blends in with her group who are living in the desert to avoid a racist militia that now runs Arizona. We do learn some interesting backstory on the universe and that this is the fifth version and that after this no gods with restart the universe since humanity sucks. More of the Aztec beliefs are infused into the world which was interesting as well because Mignola finds a way to make all of the world’s different beliefs work together in the same system.
The strange thing about this series is that nothing really happens, but it’s not a bad thing. I really enjoy the conversations, but Abe’s celebrity is kind of strange. People instantly warm up to him which I suppose is part of his charm, but it’s awkward for the reader to watch someone talking to a monster looking dude like it’s no big deal. I mean I wouldn’t try to stab the guy with a pitchfork, but I’d definitely stare at him unconsciously. Also the absence of monsters is weird, but also works. B.P.R.D. is jammed full of monsters and when Hellboy in Hell returns it’ll again be nothing but demons. It makes this series very different, but it also makes the intensity zero. There always seems to be something lurking in the dark watching Abe, but no real threat to follow it.
The art continues to be great. The fact of the matter is that Sebastian Fiumara manages to make every conversation interesting. Sure he has some help from the story in this issue when he’s given several Aztec monsters and gods to illustrate, but even the opening conversation is interesting. The art is so detailed and striking that it holds your attention and gives you an eerie vibe that the writing misses at times. Dave Stewart’s coloring is of course fantastic. That man can make anything look amazing, but never is it truer than on the Mignola-verse. He really understands the world and the coloring associated with it.
It’s easy to recommend this series to new readers since it basically starts over with this issue and manages to recap the previous events at the same time. It’s kind of difficult for me to recommend this to anyone that just finished the previous series because it’s so similar. I didn’t dislike this issue, but the déjà vu was a bit much. I couldn’t place it at first, but when I sat down to write the review it hit me that I had basically written this already which changed how I wrote about the issue. It’s not bad, but it’s old hat at this point.
Writers: Mike Mignola and Scott Alllie Artist: Sebastian Fiumara Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 10/9/13