Four researchers in search of Xibalba have gone missing deep in the water-filled caverns beneath Mexico. Xibalba is the Mexican underworld, and the researchers are convinced that they have found it here. And their proof is the discovery of a supposed ancient god that still resides in the darkness of the caverns. Unfortunately for the researchers, what they discovered wasn’t a god at all, but a demon protecting the site of a hidden evil. Abe Sapien is dispatched by Professor Bruttenholm to investigate the site and attempt to return the researchers to the surface. But what he finds there isn’t just a threat to himself, but possibly a threat to all of humanity as well. This script was really strong. A lot of good conversation. And if you know anything about me at this point, dialogue is what really keeps me interested. Good dialogue. A lot of it. It’s always a treat to have the voice of Professor Bruttenholm, too. That backstory is a nice touch this month. I’m always fascinated by Abe’s past. It always seems so much more interesting than the rest of the B.P.R.D. cast. I love the main story of the entire Mignolaverse, but sometimes it’s important to take a step back, take a breath, and try something else for a bit. I’m sure that we’ll get right back on that train in the next issue, but like I said, this was a nice detour. I guess that detour really isn’t the word that I should use, but I guess that I mean it more in terms of “stopping to smell the roses”.
Michael Avon Oeming’s art in this issue is great. His work takes us under water a lot, and we get to see some pretty cool panels of Abe. There is one panel in particular that really grabbed my attention. I think that you’ll know which one that I’m referring to when you get to it. Because I assume that after you read this review, you will in fact pick this issue up, if you haven’t already. I will point out that Dave Stewart’s colors really stand out too. I’m starting to think that I just really like underwater stuff. I also find myself becoming more and more of a Dave Stewart fan. I’ve never really been a fan of someone for their colors before.
I’m not exactly sure if I would put this in the “jumping on point” category as much as the “breath of fresh air” category, but I suggest giving it a read. If you’re eager to see what is going to happen in the grand scheme of things with the whole apocalyptic story arc that is currently happening, you may want to skip this, but I strongly advise against doing that. This is a book for people who love Abe Sapien. So in saying that, I promise that you’ll like it. If not, feel free to send some negative e-mails my way; I’m not that hard to get in touch with.
Writer: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie Artist: Michael Avon Oeming Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/11/13