“Abe Sapien” #15 is a stand alone issue that long time fans of the series should adore with skillful nods to the past of the BRPD and new perspectives that speak both to Abe’s past and the present.
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
ART BY: Juan Ferreyra
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2014
Review By: Ooknabah
In this, the latest issue of Abe’s adventures, the current storyline takes a break for an interlude back to 2005 where we revisit Abe’s days with the BRPD. What could be an unwelcome break from the current story is instead a expertly managed trip to the past that fans of the series will eat up, both a welcome respite from the present, bittersweet reminder of what used to be and a rumination on the questions that have been and are now still central to Abe’s journey.
Most notably, Roger the Homunculus features prominently, placing the events of the issue during early days of the BRDP series. After a group of hippies inadvertently summon an eldritch horror, Abe is left to examine the remains and ponder his newly found (previous) identity as Langdon Everett Caul. Contrasted with soul searching Abe has been involved in after his most recent transformation, these questions weigh heavily and cement the internal conflict that Abe has now faced for years. Contrasted with Rodger’s happy acceptance of his role within the BRPD and malleable personality, this is even more keenly felt.
Of course, things don’t go well for long, and soon a greater threat emerges as the eldritch horror begins to possess people, but that threat is really secondary to the more personal struggles taking place between Abe, Roger and Agent Vaughn, another seldom seen character from the past. That said, it provides the action that fans expect and does so satisfyingly while not overtaking the more interesting discussions at play.
Juan Ferreyra’s art is about as different from the usual art on the series as could be possible, with the usual dark rough and sketchy quality being replaced with expert design and clean lines. It’s a gorgeous take on the designs formerly handled by Guy Davis, and the brighter colours and precise art create an almost idyllic (if Mignola’s work can ever be described as idyllic) look back into the old days of Abe’s history. Seeing Rodger again may also play into this: reading his voice again makes one mourn his loss anew.
If you’re an old school BRPD fan that has lapsed, read this comic. If you’re an Abe Sapien fan, you all ready will. If you’re neither, what the hell are you waiting for?