Story: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art: Max Fiumara
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robbins
What They Say:
A little girl taking shelter from the end of the world with a mysterious Mexican death cult turns to Abe for protection.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s no secret that I’ve had issues with this series. I’m a big fan of Hellboy and Abe Sapien, but too often that I felt that this series was just spinning its wheels. There exists a larger story—the truth about Abe’s role in the apocalypse and his overall destiny—but that story became subsumed almost from the beginning by subplots and side characters. While that’s pretty standard for episodic series like comics, for reasons I could never quite define, those subplots felt like they were bogging down the narrative rather than adding to it. I was far more interested in Abe’s journey, while the series seemed more interested in building the world.
I won’t pretend that my attitude has magically changed, but I will say that this was one of the stronger ones in the series’ twenty issue run.
Megan is a member of the Santa Muerte cult that Abe and Grace have fallen in with. A young girl, she barely remembers what life was life before the apocalypse. Her parents and now her uncle are all dead, and now she has no one except for the cult. She runs away from the house while the rest prepare the funeral for her uncle, only to run into Abe. The two walk through town, discussing life, death, and what it’s like to have no memory of the world before it went to hell.
Mostly this is a transitioning issue, moving the story along from point A to point B and setting up the climax of this particular story arc, but it also gets to the heart of what I think Mignola and Allie are trying to do with the series: explore the aftermath of the apocalypse. The reason why it works so well here is that Megan is such a strongly written character. She’s believable, interesting, and acts like a teenager without coming across as bratty or self-centered or just plain unlikable. She brings a fresh perspective on events and serves as a welcome respite from the weird psychodrama playing out between Abe and Grace. If I had my druthers, I’d rather see Megan and Abe traveling the country than Abe and Grace.
Abe Sapien finally hits the right marks with me in this issue. While the larger story hasn’t truly progressed, the introduction of Megan breathes new life into the series and adds a perspective and voice that I think it needs. I don’t know if this is a just a blip or a turning point, but I hope it’s the latter, as I really want to like this series more than I currently do.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 11th, 2015