I’ve been reading all of the Hellboy omnibuses as they come out, including the collection of short stories (You can find my reviews on Fanbase Press.), and I’ve been loving every page of it. The most experience that I’ve had with Abe Sapien has been in the films, so as I’ve been reading the more Hellboy-centric storylines, I’ve kept wanting more of Abe. Well, now I have it!
Like Hellboy, Sapien is a fish out of water, in this case literally. Even as part of the B.P.R.D., he doesn’t fit in and he doesn’t handle things like Hellboy. If Hellboy was a battering ram, then Sapien is a gentle knock. The great thing about this collection, showing Abe’s solo stories in a linear fashion, is that we get to see how his character progresses over time – how Hellboy’s advice and training either does or doesn’t change him. It can be a little frustrating at times, because Sapien’s story progresses in other Mignolaverse stories, most often in B.P.R.D., so we’re not getting the full brunt of the emotional journey. Sometimes, things will have happened to him and we’re seeing how he’s dealing with it. This means that the stories presented here run the gamut from epic supernatural showdowns to some very private and personal stories.
Mike Mignola, along with John Arcudi and Scott Allie, know how to spin a tale. There’s never a moment in which I’m not interested in what’s happening on the page. His use of a never-ending stream of mythology and folklore is inspiring. He doesn’t just give you vampires, he gives you vampires in ancient, underwater caverns. He doesn’t just give you zombies, but zombies whose actions are motivated by tragedy. The Hellboy universe is one of the most fully developed and beautifully maintained comic book universes out there. The omnibuses now being released are a perfect entry point for anyone curious. I’d highly, highly recommend diving in.
Creative Team: Mike Mignola (creator, writer), John Arcudi, Scott Allie (writers), Jason Shawn Alexander, Peter Snejbjerg, James Harren, Patric Reynolds, Michael Avon Oeming, Juan Ferreyra, Kevon Nowlan, Alise Gluskova, Santiago Caruso, Guy Davis, Mark Nelson, Dave Stewart (artists), Clem Robbins, Kevin Nowlan (letters) Scott Allie and Katii O’Brien (editor), Daniel Chabon, Shantel LaRocque, Jay Edidin (assistant editors), Mike Richardson (publisher)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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