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Continuing the recent run of one-shots comes Abe Sapien #14, Visions, Dreams and Fishin’! From Dark Horse Comics and the all-star creative team of Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, Max Fiumara and Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien #14 features a cover by Sebastián Fiumara and Stewart of Abe Sapien steadfastly swimming towards the reader.
Abe Sapien and his companion Grace are traveling outside Juarez when they come upon another traveler who tells them the fate of Phoenix. Continuing on, while fishing, Abe gets introspective thinking about what led him to where he is now, leading to both Abe and Grace seeing ghosts of their past.
A series of one-shots is the perfect way to pack a lot of information into a fast 22 pages. Mike Mignola and Scott Allie gracefully slip into Abe and Grace's pasts and rip them to the surface. Plus, there’s a great use of Hellboy to help Abe make sense of his life, that may or may not work.
Max Fiumara is at the top of his game here, with the panel of the girl from Carolina’s face exhibiting solemnity and Fiumara’s talent. The use of small panels to frame character reactions is a unique choice that succeeds. Fiumara is best when drawing big, creepy monsters and this issue has him letting loose. I like his style of drawing Hellboy with more of a leaner, muscular physique. Dave Stewart uses mostly dark and mid-tones in his coloring, allowing greater contrast between the bright red of Hellboy and Abe’s blood underwater.
Abe Sapien #14 pairs busy, active sequences against slow, character-driven scenes, with Mignola and Allie delving into the psyche of tortured souls and I hope that the Fiumaras never stop drawing it!
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