Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: James Harren (cover by Dave Johnson)
The B.P.R.D. has been around for quite some time, but back in 1985 something happened to Abe Sapien that left a mark, so to speak. He was reading a lot of books by Garver Van Laer, a man who is an expert on demonology, and this is why when one of his fellow teammates said he had someone from the author’s family for him to meet, Abe was understandably curious. After meeting the grandson of said demonic expert, Abe decides to go with him to visit his Uncle that is somewhat of a recluse and following in Garver’s footsteps. As the two men are driving to the cabin, Abe listens to this man talk about his Uncle and how he was glad to see he still had family. When they arrive at the residence, Abe is visibly shaken by the large lake next to the house. The guy tells him that his Uncle won’t be surprised by Abe’s appearance, but that his gun might upset him, so he should leave it in the car…yep, bad idea. Abe waits outside while the guy goes to get his Uncle. After a few minutes, Abe hears screaming from inside and runs up to the door and smashes it in. He sees the Uncle using an axe on his beloved nephew. Now, you or I might pause, but Abe Sapien, a top agent of the B.P.R.D., does not hesitate. He pulls out his pistol (we actually never saw him leave it in the car earlier), and puts a few in the head of the crazed Uncle. After Abe calls the cops, the local guy shows up and begins to do an investigation. He asks Abe if he’s checked the house for anyone else, and Abe tells him that it’s empty. Within seconds, they both hear a noise from behind a closed door.
All I can say is, wow, I wasn’t expecting the Uncle to go buck wild with an axe after the set up in the car with Abe and the nephew. Abe’s trepidation around the lake has me intrigued, as well, considering he’s like a fish in water. I know right now in current continuity Abe is in a coma, and I’m wondering if this is playing out in his head right now, or if this story is being shown to get something in line for when Abe wakes up. Either way, Mignola and Arcudi know how to throw a curve ball at a reader, for sure. The artist, James Harren, does a nice job with the bloody axe scene inside the house, but I think the thing that mostly caught my eye was on the next to the last page in the book. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but rest assured that what Abe and you see is pretty terrifying and will make you buy issue #2…and isn’t that the point? Rating 3.5/5
Alternate cover by Francesco Francavilla