Abe Sapien #6 deals with another one of Abe’s travels. He encounters Elena, who enlightens him as to the potential threats that the world might be facing. Prepare for Mayan Myth and Spanglish!
Abe Sapien’s adventures are not your typical Hellboy experience. The pace is much slower, focusing on building Abe’s character since departing from BPRD. The issue opens in the desert where he is almost gunned down by Elena, who was hunting a wolf. I know what you are wondering… What exactly is Abe doing in a desert in the first place? But Elena is not your average woman, she recognises who Abe is and she knows about BPRD. The tale begins!
We learn that Elena is in actual fact chasing her shape-shifting father, whom she believes was the wolf she was hunting before crossing paths with Abe. We learn that her father ventured off into the desert when monsters started to invade their realm. Abe is not really able to offer any help as he himself seems rather unknowledgeable of the events occurring around him. There is no Hellboy taking charge in this mission. All we as the reader get to see is Abe’s internal despair and confusion.
This series is very different to Mignola’s usual BPRD escapades. It is filled with emotion, slower in pace and heavy in thought. Abe is trying to find out where he fits into the world around him as he learns about the Mayan myths from Elena and her people. Elena and her people use quite a bit or Mayan jargon in this one, so if you did not do your 2012 Mayan research you might get a little bit lost. Another problem in the dialogue was the use of Spanglish. It is ok if it features once or twice in the dialogue but in this issue there are a few pages of it. I think it is rather unnecessary and distracting. Especially to those who are not familiar with the language. I would have rather opted for the caption that says “words in brackets are spoken in Latin.” You end up feeling as though you are missing out on something important.
Visually Abe Sapien #6 is stunning. Abe’s adventures are highly detailed, and this issue takes place in the desert, so it does not allow for Abe to be hiding in the shadows. So the setting and characters receive some of the best detail in BPRD history. The brighter colours really create a great desert setting and feel, drawing the reader towards wondering why Abe is in such a hazardous environment. Clearly there is something more to his actions.
This issue is quite different to what you would expect, but that does not mean that it is disappointing at all. Although it might not be as action packed, it is filled with emotion and strong story-telling, which lets the reader know that something great is planned for this series. Something that just might break the tradition of the BPRD universe!