By Nick Banks
Abe Sapien #32 Early Review
Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artist: Max Fiumara
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Rating: 10 out of 10
Synopsis: Abe finally reaches New York to uncover more details about his past.
Our Thoughts: The two monthly titles from Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Scott Allie are some of the best comics delivered on a regular basis from Dark Horse or any other publisher. BPRD: Hell On Earth and Abe Sapien continue to build upon “the House that Hellboy Built” in new and creative directions each month. The tone of each could not be more different however, and this issue of Abe Sapien is the perfect example.
While BPRD: Hell on Earth focuses on the team aspect with a diverse cast of monsters, ghosts, and agents, Abe Sapien is consistently “smaller”, with the focus on the emotional and harrowing journey of Abe; a “new” man searching for his humanity and place in a universe that would seem to fit his new form better, whether he likes it or not.
The visual storytelling in this issue is superb (and I would not be surprised if this issue received an Eisner Award nomination for best single issue). Max Fiumara’s art, one of the strongest hooks for this series, is varied and compelling with a variety of panel structure rarely seen in mainstream comics. The design changes on each page ranging from half page spreads to nine panels on one page, breaking the rules of comic book page lay-out in all the right ways. Much of the story is told without any text, and this also contributes to the unique look of this issue. With this level of visual experimentation, no text is necessary. The emotional punch of Abe’s anguish and frustration is perfectly captured with the artistic design of this chapter. I give this issue of an already excellent series my highest possible recommendation.