Hellboy‘s partner at the B.P.R.D (The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) “Abe Sapien“, has always been kind of an anomaly to me. Mostly, because I wasn’t as much into the comic books as I was the movies, which gave little back story as to Abe’s origins. Had I followed the comic book closer, I imagine I would’ve known more. So I did what anybody in my position would do, visited Wikipedia. There all was revealed as to me and boy…is it strange.
Sapien began life as Langdon Everett Caul, a Victorian scientist and businessman who became involved with the Oannes Society, an occult organization who believed in life and all knowledge having come from the sea. After retrieving a strange jellyfish-like deity from an underwater ruin, Caul and the other members performed an arcane ritual that inadvertently ended with the creature’s release and Caul being turned into an icthyo sapien. Believing him to be Oannes reborn, the society sealed the developing icthyo sapien’s body in a tube of water in the hidden laboratory beneath a Washington, D.C. hospital until such time as he was fully formed. Forced to abandon the site by the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Society never found occasion to return for Caul, and there he stayed until he was found by workmen in November 1978.
That’s creative right? A character that strange is definitely worth a few pages of their own, perhaps even a book. Abe Sapien #1 is sorta that, in that it involves Abe and it’s written by Mike Mignola, but instead of Abe working for B.P.R.D, he’s gone rogue.
In this first episode, he’s hopped a train with a group of hobo’s when the B.P.R.D, who’ve been hunting him down, catch up with him. While on the train, writer Mike Mignola offer’s some insight into a pending virus via a conversation between two hobo’s on the train, one of which has a horrendous infection on his arm. Not soon after, one of the hobo’s grows nervous of Abe, whose been listening in a dark corner, fully clothed to mask his identity. Soon a fight ensues between the hobo’s and Abe, when suddenly the B.P.R.D arrive in copters. Abe makes a daring escape and that’s all she wrote. I’ve no idea why he’s on the run. The story points to clues about Abe’s past that he seems keen on finding out or maybe it has something to do with the ginormous demon B.P.R.D agent’s had to put down at the beginning of the story…I don’t know, but I’m guessing, whatever it is, it’s something he must do alone. Illustrator Sabastian Fiumara (LOKI, Night of the living Dead) tears up this dark landscape with the ink! The angles and emotion are all there. Delivering realness on every page, Sebastian’s work fits the mood.
Here’s what I say, if you’re gonna start something, start it like this! There’s already enough in Hellboy lore to facilitate a slew of reasons as to why Abe has chosen to leave so it goes without saying that the outcome is going to be epic. This first issue has me hooked. It’s a thrill ride and an excellent start to what I’m sure will be an excellent series. I recommend picking up a copy.