Comic Book Review – Abe Sapien #8
Writen by: Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Clem Robins
Deep in the depths is where most creatures lurk and in “The Land of the Dead” it is undoubtedly true.
In Abe Sapien #8 we see Abe giving a debriefing of his most recent mission to Professor Bruttenholm and learn that while his goal was met there are newer, bigger questions to answer. Abe Sapien is very much a spinoff of Hellboy in that with Mike Mignola at the helm both titles feel very similar in tone and pacing. And that isn’t generally a bad thing because Mignola is a great writer and creator; it’s just a tad disappointing because Abe Sapien doesn’t feel like its own book, it feels like a Hellboy book.
Mignola and Allie delivery a solid monster mystery in which we see Abe in the role of the detective as he tries to save the innocents and crack the case. The story touches upon ancient Mayans and vampires but nothing really feels at stake here. Since it’s more or less a flashback issue, we know the outcome so the tension never builds; it ends flatly with a hanging question that will eventually come back around somewhere down the line.
Another aspect of this book that makes it feel like a Hellboy clone is that Michael Avon Oeming is trying to do his best Mignola impression. Oeming uses heavy blacks and oddly shaped shadows creating cool affects and designs within the panels. His art direction is solid using splash pages, image overlays and panels insets. And while he does make Abe look dynamic throughout the book there are a few anatomy oddities that are very noticeable.
The tone of the book is provided through Dave Stewarts blues, browns and grays which create a dark and dreary setting. While the color pallet fits the story just fine the lack of hue gradation makes the book feel a tad bland.
While Abe Sapien #8 is a perfectly fine comic book it feels too much like a Hellboy book for it to ever stand on its own. This book gives you everything you already know you enjoy which leaves little room for authenticity.
Review Score: 4 (out of 7)