Abe Sapien is back, and he’s never been more alone. Hooray? Let’s go see the ultimate Fishman, and ponder whether or not part 1 of The New Race of Man is any good.
Abe Sapien: The New Race of Man Part 1 (Dark Horse)
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have crafted a haunting story of how one man/monster is seen in a future where all sorts of men are turning into monsters. Like the best Hellboy issues, this one finds Abe tackling his place in the world. We see as he meets various individuals and how a variety of people deal with him; such is the beauty of this issue. It’s Abe by his lonesome, and we see how a new world overrun by mutated humans deals with someone who they think is yet another current mutation. We also see how Abe struggles to find meaning in this new world.
The art by Max Fiumara is… well, it makes Abe seem awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time. Apparently a Fiumara Abe is tied with Mignola’s version, but dare I say it, I’m almost liking the Fiumara’s Abe better. He’s so defined, and looks so human, yet so of the sea. Great stuff.
I must admit, I was confused to see the name “Max,” and it took me a second to realize this is a different Fiumara working on the art for this issue. The Dark and Terrible arc was Sebastian. Max must be his brother.
There is one technique in the issue I went nutty for. I usually get pretty excited when this technique is used. The character in the foreground in the present, before a backdrop showing what the character is reflecting upon. We have three instances in this issue. I’ll show you one:
I don’t think he gets enough praise, so shout out to Dave Stewart on the colors. Stunning, as per usual.
- Great use of monsters.
- Compelling view inside Abe’s head
- Great use of flashback via panel
- Excellent look into a new world overrun by monsters, and mutated humans
Is It Good?
It’s really, really good. It makes you empathize with Abe, even though he’s a fish man. You feel and see the humanity within him, and ache when others he meets don’t see the same when he reveals himself to them. It is a comic which deals with ostracism and a changing world, and how humanity deals with a change in its ranking upon the Earth. I’m very excited for part 2, to see how things will work out for ole’ Abraham Sapien.
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