In Review: Abe Sapien #3

The cover: Abe is knelling on the symbol of the B.P.R.D., holding a rifle. A frog is leaping off the symbol, while behind Abe something like radiated tentacles are emerging. Could this mean the War on Frogs has ended, with the War on Flesh beginning? Great cover by Sebastian Fiumara, who gives us something to wonder and worry over. Overall grade: A+

The story: I read this issue three times. I don’t get the point. Abe is involved in the story, loosely, because he is the title character, but he doesn’t really do much in the issue except bring agents into the story because they’re looking for him. Abe says all of seven words, while in two panels he recalls what others have said to him earlier. I have no clue what Abe’s motivations or goals are. This story seemed designed to introduce a new supernatural threat to the world, Abe be damned. I also didn’t care for the reintroduction of agents from other series appearing only to be killed off. What’s the point in doing this, other than to clean house? The death of one agent in this issue was an afterthought that brought no emotion from me, save confusion: Did it have to be him? Was it necessary to kill him off? What did his death bring to the story? To Abe? To the readers? The answer is, sadly, nothing. I was incredibly let down by this tale by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie. I want to give this story a “pass” in the hopes that it actually will be part of a bigger story in the future, but right now all I got was a drawn out story, could have been done in two issues, that had nothing to do with the hero. I want him to be key to the story and having him speak more would make my understanding of him, and the issue, better. Overall grade: D

The art: The visuals are done by Sebastian Fiumara, who inks his own work, with his brother Max Fiumara also inking. When Henry’s change occurs it’s grotesque. When he goes into action it’s non-stop chaos and casualties. I liked when Abe went into superhero mode on Page 13 since this is an aspect of his character that is often never shown; it was great to see! When the battle gets bigger it was hard for me not to picture the Sandman or Clayface III in action, since this type of battle has been done many, many time before in superhero books. Overall grade: B+

The colors: With the exception of the sound effects, Dave Stewart colors this book with very light, drab colors that makes the story seem aged. In doing this book seemed like I was reading it through a filter. I’m not saying I needed primary colors, but it looks like my book was left out in the sun for a few hours on every page. Very disappointing. Overall grade: D+

The letters: Finally, an aspect of this book I can praise! Terrific lettering throughout by Clem Robins on the dialogue, the many sound effects and the great font introduced on Page 6 for the new being. This font is downright creepy on Page 7, panel three! Overall grade: A+

The final line: “You do have some dinosaurs in your dinosaur park?” is a famous quote I could paraphrase for this issue and the previous two: “You do have some Abe Sapien in your Abe Sapien comic?” Very, very disappointing. Overall grade: C-

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

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