We just completed the first run of the return of Hellboy to print and while that isn’t something that can be easily topped, Mike Mignola and Scott Allie have decided to bring back one of our other favorite characters as well, Abe Sapien.

Abe has always been the strongest secondary hero in the Hellboy universe. In fact if he wasn’t so much of a loner, you could almost see him as Hellboy’s sidekick if not partner in stopping paranormal crime.

There is a lot going on in this first issue. It ranges from current events, to multiple future plot line setups and an extremely brief summary of what’s happened since we’ve last seen Abe in the B.P.R.D. If you aren’t familiar with the character, some of the information may seem a bit vague.

We start with a summary that Abe didn’t know much about himself at all. After a near death experience he started to regain fragments of his past and after the most recent near death experience he went on the run.

Why is he running though?

Is he running away from the B.P.R.D. or is he running to something involving his past? Not only that but is whatever he running towards going to help make Abe whole again or tear him further away from humanity? He clearly is trying to avoid his old comrades though we don’t find out why in this first issue.

What we do find is the always amazing look to Sebastian Fiumara’s art which is complimented perfectly by the muted tones that Dave Stewart uses. The art style keeps you examining each page even while you want to fly through reading the story itself.

There is a Satanic ritual that takes place in the opening pages of this issue. (Which is interesting as if this takes place during the same time as the current Hellboy series it would appear that Satan is now dead.) Also, there is a man with a mutated hand who I have a feeling we may see again. Finally there are giant creatures killing or maddening everyone who come close to them.

So they crammed just a little bit into this book. Somehow though, it didn’t feel forced or rushed and every bit of it kept me interested and dragged in for more! We aren’t given much in the way of answers as to what Abe has been up to and are left with a lot of new questions.

All of that and Abe is on the lamb. We won’t know exactly what they have in store for an overall story arc for another issue or two but I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next one to start to find out! Mignola has a great way of drawing readers into his work by keeping readers wanting to know more and the return of Abe Sapien is no different.

My main question though is the subtitle. What does ‘Dark and Terrible’ mean for Abe Sapien? Is that a description of this time in his life, a description of his past, a description of what he’ll be fighting, or a description of what he is going to become?

Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Sebastián Fiumara