Review: Abe Sapien – Vol. 3: Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man (TPB)

For anyone who has missed the beginning of this now ongoing title from Dark Horse Comics, you have missed out on some very good stuff. Of all the characters in the extensive B.P.R.D. universe, Abe has been the one that almost demanded to be made into an individual title. Here in 2013, it finally has happened and it has been good, very, very, good. It’s about eight issues in now and all of them have been super.  I highly recommend them. As for those of you have missed out, Dark Horse has released the first five issues of the series in a trade paperback covering the two-story arcs for Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man,  which will save you a lot of time (and money) in allowing you to read through these wonderful issues all grouped together.

In this trade, a monster apocalypse has begun ravaging the landscape and life as we know it. All things are topsy-turvy and the end of all mankind looks eminent. As for Abe, he has recently come out of a coma in which he evolved. Desperately in need of answers of who he is and why he is the way he is, Abe has left the confines of the B.P.R.D. in search of these answers. His timing couldn’t be worse however with all that is going on around him. And mankind’s dislike of all creatures, even kind-hearted good ones like Abe, are prominent and displayed everywhere.  Still, Abe pushes through, going to a small community in Colorado seemingly unaffected by the monster plague and ultimately, the Salton Sea looking for those answers.  What he finds on this solitary journey is a little bit of monstrosity, a little bit of humanity, and a whole lot of good storytelling as the future may be now, and old Abe may just be the shape of things to come.

Abe Sapien Vol. 3 CoverThere really are not enough good things that I can say about this trade and this comic. It is just amazing. There are powerful moments of sheer poetry tempered with just the right mixture of bloody good action and violence, never overdoing one or the other. The writing by Scott Allie for the Dark and Terrible run as well as John Arcudi for The New Race of Man are well done with Mr. Mike Mignola’s excellent guiding hand leading the way for both. In the writing, we see a tortured being, torn between the world of monsters and the world of man who is trying to find his place in both.  An extraordinary work as typically things could get a little boring with one person in deep introspection. But the guys put in enough enticing action and interaction to make this a wonderful read.

As for the artwork done by Sebastian and Max Fiumara respectively, it amazes me.  The sheer level of emotion that they deliver with every shot of not just Abe, but everybody, is stunning.  For all the people and monsters represented, you gain a window to the soul of these characters that is rare to see in any comic. It is like you feel their story simply by looking at their image.

Regarding Abe and his artistic views, I don’t know if you can describe the level of sadness and loss that is being depicted with every image. This is a tortured creature and even if he finds all the answers, his torture will endure. It is heart rendering and beautifully drawn by both Fiumaras. Passion is the only word I can use to describe it, true passion.

I have been looking for the perfect Christmas gift for my 16-year-old son and with this trade; I believe that I have found it. It demonstrates the wonderful start that this title has gotten off to and shows us that the future, though not looking very bright for the world in the story, looks very bright for the reader.

Score: 5/5

Writers: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, John Arcudi Artists: Sebastian Fiumara, Max Fiumara Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $19.99 Release Date: 12/11/13