Having just read the graphic novel, “Sandcastle,” an eerie mystery taking place on a stretch of beach, I was intrigued to find a similar scene taking place in a Hellboy comic. This is Issue 5 of a new ongoing “Abe Sapien” and rounds up material for the next trade paperback. As tends to be the case with a solid Hellboy tale, this is a great stand alone read. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are the masters of deadpan delivery in an never-ending world of weird. You can jump off Hellboy and jump back on and the tenor of their tales does not skip a beat.
To carry on a bit with the comparison to “Sand Castle,” here you have two stories that are set in a world gone awry. Shall we call it, “Apocalyptic”? Yes, things have definitely gone to hell. From this devastation, emerges Abe Sapien and assorted survivors on a barren landscape. The beach is always a dramatic setting, very symbolic. Just seaweed, some seagulls, and a vast god-like ocean. In both stories, it’s the strange loner who gets blamed for a murder. And, in each story, there is a foreboding that overtakes everyone. Cool, huh? Yeah, and the art by Max Fiumara is a feast for the eyes, makes the moody atmospherics look easy.
Poor Abe has to do what he can to gain the trust of the locals but they’re pretty blasé about it since there’s far more to be concerned about. Sure, the fish man might be alright but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be alright.
After not checking in with Abe Sapien and the B.P.R.D. for awhile, it’s nice to see that things are as creepy as ever. It’s not be taken for granted and I’m glad to be back on board.
“Abe Sapien #5” is out August 7. “Abe Sapien #6” is out October 9 and the trade paperback collecting Issues 1 thru 5 comes out soon. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics.