The last story arc of this Mignola′s classic hero, Abe Sapien, is one for the books.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Now that Hellboy is dead and the RBPD War on the Frogs has been lost by humanity, all Abe Sapien can do is wander and wonder about his past, about his former human self, and what caused it all to be.
The trade paperback for this story begins at Abe Sapien: Volume 3: Dark & Terrible & the New Race of Man. After waking up from a coma, Abe discovers himself changed: his body is longer and much stronger. Determined to find out about his past, he leaves the RBPD headquarters; meeting dead men, terrible monsters, and fascinating characters along the way.
Volume 4: The Shape of Things to Come and Volume 5: Sacred Places continue with this quest, be it on the desert sand or in the midst of wrecked cities, fighting evil where he finds it and talking with doomed souls and zombies alike. Everyone he meets wants a piece of him: they don′t know if he has something to do with the end of the world, but they sure are scared of him.
The small stories all fit into a bigger scheme, like snapshots of a tour through Hell. The surviving humans wander in packs, join apocalyptic cults or die to protect their families. Abe seems in a daze, not wanting to get involved but getting involved nonetheless.
It is in Volume 6 that things become really interesting: in A darkness So Great, Volume 7: The Secret Fire and, finally, Volume 8 The Desolate Shore, things begin to take shape. Like in the ancient Mayan stories where the world is destroyed and reborn in cycles, Abe Sapien’s story does not only begin with his former human self, Langdon Everett Caul, but goes further than that.
Ancient powers, mystic deities, and a new world; the cycle of Abe Sapien is the cycle of the entire human race.
The Fiumara brothers remind me of another wonder couple: Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá. These Argentinians are really fighting to get their own style out there, and their success is great to watch: all the apocalyptic monsters are from their own design: small ravenous creatures and giant tentacled beasts alike. Vampires too! Once the story is over, you find yourself deeply satisfied, in a disturbing way, of course. It is Mignola′s world after all.
Featured images by Max and Sebastian Fiumara