Abe's real name was Langdon Caul, he was a scientist and occult investigator, and member of a secret society known as the Oannes Society. Langdon found an creature that looked simillar to a jellyfish and him and other members of the Oannes Society performed a ritual on it which ended with Langdon becoming a different species labeled Icthyo Sapien. The society imprisoned Langdon in a large tube of water in Washington DC. However, the Civil War forced the society to leave the building he was imprisoned in. He wasn't found until much later by a group of workmen.
With no memory of who he was, Langdon took a new identity as Abe Sapien, from the last name of his species, and a piece of paper he recieved with the date of Abe Lincoln's assassination. Abe was taken to the B.P.R.D. where he was studied and almost dissected until he was saved by an empathetic Hellboy. After he was saved by Hellboy, Abe became a valuable field agent of the B.P.R.D.
Powers and Abilities
Abe is a humanoid amphibious creature. He has a pair of gills on his neck, allowing him to breathe underwater, but also has a set of normal human lungs allowing him to stay above and out of water for long periods. However, he does need to regularly “get wet” to keep from becoming too weak. Abe possesses webbed hands and feet and has large, bright eyes that help to see in murky water. He's also an Olympic-level swimmer, thanks to his athletic and peak-conditioned body.
He posseses greater strength than normal humans, and is also an expert marksman and excellent hand-to-hand fighter. It has been suggested that Abe is ageless, and has been ever since his transformation.
In the first Hellboy film, Abe is played by actor Doug Jones and voiced by David Hyde Pierce, who is refused credit out of respect for Jones' amazing movements and acting skill. The second film has Doug Jones taking on both roles of playing and voicing Abe Sapien. Unlike in the comics, Abe is psychic and was able to detect that Liz Sherman was pregnant with Hellboy's twin children. In the films Abe enjoys reading and solving puzzles and was at one point trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. Abe is also only able to stay out of water for a very short period of time and is often seen wearing a breathing apparatus on missions, although in the second film he is seen without it more and more. He is a fan of thousand year eggs and is developing his marksman skills as the film progresses.