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Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #1 - Part One

5

Abe Sapien is out to uncover a mystery and to open a 50 year old case, but he may be in over his head. Get ready for a fantastic start to an edge of your seat story.

What happens when you decide to open a 50 year old case based on a hunch? Trouble, of course. Abe Sapien takes the reigns of the 50 year old case in this first part of a two part story.

The Good

Sometimes when I read a Hellboy book by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi I feel like I'm watching an episode of Law and Order or CSI, only better. The creative team has a way of keeping his reader in suspense and will have you guessing "what's next" with the turn of each page. His latest, 'Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest' is no different. The first part of this two part series features Abe who has decided to open a case at the urging of a seemingly helpless man who's grandfather died 50 years ago. The result of which may have something to do with the fact that this man's grandfather who had been a professor at "Vandrist University" had been a lead researcher in "demonology" and "theurgy," which is the practice of conjuring spirits to essentially possess oneself. Clearly, Abe will be dealing with some pretty creepy stuff here.

Once again the creative team delivers an issue that will not only leave the reader at the edge of their seat, but will leave them wondering how he will be able to fit this story into just two issues. The pacing is perfect and the art by James Harren completely compliments the story. It's gritty, scary and absolutely perfect.

Can I also just say how cool it is to see Abe in his own book? He's an awesome character and deserves it.

The Bad

That awful feeling when I got to the last page and realized it was the end of the issue. That was pretty bad.

The Verdict

This is definitely an issue that Hellboy fans should pick up this week! It's hard to believe that this is only a two part story considering the amount of stuff that happens in the issue, and it definitely feels like Mignola and Arcudi could extend it if they really wanted to. It's a fun horror comic and the writers capture the mysticism and overall danger of the events very well. Great pacing, gorgeous art, beautiful story. I highly recommend this to veteran Hellboy fans and new readers alike.

16 Comments

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

I really liked the Russia one. Does it connect to that at all? It was the 1st Hellboy comic I read and I have only seen the movies before that.

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No_Name_

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@Daveyo520 said:

I really liked the Russia one. Does it connect to that at all? It was the 1st Hellboy comic I read and I have only seen the movies before that.

Nope! No connection. This story focuses on Ab; Hellboy doesn't appear at all. It's awesome though, definitely worth a look! :)

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

@Babs: So many comics to pic up this week. I need to give Dark Horse more love, getting only The Umbrella Academy stuff isn't enough (That 3rd arc needs to come out), maybe I will get the Hellboy Frogs trade I saw.

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turoksonofstone

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Edited By turoksonofstone

Abe solo stories rock.

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HumanNumber

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Edited By HumanNumber

I will pick this up immediately, it's great to see Abe get the spotlight.

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Decept-O

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Edited By Decept-O

Nice to see a review for a comic book that isn't Marvel or DC featured on the front page. Love the covers and it sounds good.

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spidermonkey2099

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Edited By spidermonkey2099

I was tempted to pick this one up, but there were so many comics from this week and last week that I wanted to pick up, I had to leave this one behind. Hopefully it will still be there when I visit my CBS again in a week or two.

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ravisher

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Edited By ravisher

abe is bad-ass

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Aiden Cross

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This looks more like a solicit than a review though.. certainly compared to the '52' reviews.

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Eyz

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Edited By Eyz

Abe's finally getting some well deserved spotlight :)

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No_Name_

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@Aiden Cross said:

This looks more like a solicit than a review though.. certainly compared to the '52' reviews.

Why, because it wasn't as long as some of the New 52 reviews?

This is a two issue series/suspense/horror comic. I don't know what else you would have wanted me to say without spoiling the story.

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Aiden Cross

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@Babs said:

@Aiden Cross said:

This looks more like a solicit than a review though.. certainly compared to the '52' reviews.

Why, because it wasn't as long as some of the New 52 reviews?

This is a two issue series/suspense/horror comic. I don't know what else you would have wanted me to say without spoiling the story.

Not at all, size isn't always the thing that matters ;)

Well, there is plenty you could have said as I will show with some reviews from other sites which I think paints a clearer picture of what this review could be. The first paragraph of the 'Good' is basically an expanded solicit of the comic. There's nothing I didn't know before or could have known before i read the comic. The real review here is basically the 'Verdict' part.

Let's take a gander at the review of this issue at CBR, shall we? (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=3954)

First of all, the way they explain this issue tells me new things i didn't already know. The review grabs me and tells me what i can expect in this issue. It actually makes me want to go out and buy the issue, and the same feeling i didn't get from your review. Now you could argue that this review spoiled too much (i'd disagree btw) but that's why we have a neat little spoiler button on this website =) You mentioned the art and I shall quote it from both reviews so you can see the difference.

Yours

and the art by James Harren completely compliments the story. It's gritty, scary and absolutely perfect.

In CBR's review

I'm not familiar with James Harren's art, but I like it. The old house on the lake -- or, for that matter, Abe approaching the lake itself -- just drips with atmosphere, the perfect introduction to this isolated area. And then, of course, everything explodes and Harren's cramped, wrinkled art is perfect for what comes next. From the sheriff's ugly face to the hideous creatures lurking in the hallways (and beyond), this is anything but a "clean" or "pretty" comic. Instead it oozes style, and it's just right for a monster-palooza of a comic. And when Abe goes up against the monsters in the hallway? Let's just say there's no doubt that Harren can draw action. It comes across intensely violent and physical, and helps sell the script by upping the intensity.

Well, CBR's obviously has a lot more description and paints a more vivid picture of what i can expect in the comic. As I said before, this description makes me want to pick up the issue. And the review itself isn't long at all.

But let's take a look at another review, this time from Geek News (http://geek-news.mtv.com/2011/09/19/dark-horse-advance-reviews-abe-sapien-the-devil-does-not-jest-1-and-evelyn-evelyn/)

Here it's mentioned how the story might be difficult to follow for new readers, or readers that aren't too familiar with the BPRD stories. Let me quote another part of the review.

One of the problems - and I’m guessing it’s not as big of a problem for long time readers – is that this starts off in 1985. Given that I’m not completely familiar with the whole Hellboy/B.P.R.D./Abe Sapien timeline, I don’t really know where the character is emotionally, or perhaps even physically. Is this my fault? Sure, maybe. But when you’re coming in for a number one issue, you shouldn’t necessarily be barraged with more information than even the regular reader can handle. There’s character interaction, shout outs to characters past and present, and several (I think) new characters introduced. Given the simplicity of the opening splash in particular, it’s a bit disappointing.

Is it new reader friendly? Not really. Is it still a well-done comic? Sure.

This would have been a nice addition to the 'Bad'. Now i'm quite familiar with the BPRD and i'm guessing you are too so it wouldn't be as much of a problem for us to follow. But for a new reader (maybe someone who just saw the Hellboy movie and loved the character Abe) I can see this as being confusing.

So all in all, this is the reason why I stated this review feels more like a lengthened solicit than a full on review for a comic and character that definitely deserves the spotlight (as you stated as much in your review). Of course, there are many more reviews out there and I could drag more examples into the discussion.. but as i stated before, size isn't everything. ;)

So don't take it as critizism, it's more of an advice for in the future =)

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

Couldn't find it in stores :/

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thechessclub

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Edited By thechessclub

I don't even read Hellboy but I got Abe's last two issue mini and loved it so I knew this one was gonna be bomb as well! It was quite flawless if I do say so myself=]

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batmanmf

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Edited By batmanmf

You used the wrongs form of reigns in your opening paragraph. I did not finish the review as a result.

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mr_panda

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Edited By mr_panda

awesome mini series