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"Abbott 1973 #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios


Written by Saladin Ahmed
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Colored by Mattia Iacono
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 20th, 2021


Elena Abbott is back with a new case at a new newspaper, but she can't quite escape the supernatural terrors lurking just beneath the surface of our world. Elena has been changed by her past experiences. They haunt her as she goes about her daily activities, just trying to enjoy her life. Add to that the changing times and those that don't want to change with them and you've got some compelling stuff.

Much of Abbott 1973 #1 is spent reintroducing us to the central character and the world around her. Writer Saladin Ahmed presents this in a smooth and natural fashion. It's so easy to fall right in with Elena and understand where she's coming from and what's going on in this time period. Things like a clearly misogynistic boss were seen differently in the '70s and they come through as gross reading it in the present day.

Click images to enlarge

It isn't until the very end of the issue that some of the horror elements really pop up, however their presence is never far. You can feel their influence in Elena's life and how she carries herself. There's a great cliffhanger to close out this chapter that definitely leaves me wanting more.

Colorist Mattia Iacono separates these pages from the rest of the book with an eerie purple glow. It signifies the supernatural element. Letterer Jim Campbell shifts with this tone as well, going from traditional word balloons to more angular ones. The tails are wispy, like smoke rising up from this creature's throat.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Sami Kivela knocks it out of the park in Abbott 1973 #1. His work is always top notch and this is another great example of his stellar style. The attention to detail is second to none with crisp, clean pencils. The layouts are completely unique and have a great flow to them. There are quite a few sequences that stand out. One example is a speech by Elena's new boss that is one overall image broken up in three panels, each with a more disparaging statement. It shows his transformation from seemingly normal guy to a surefire jerk in moments.

Kivela nails the styles and tone of the time period and setting. The fashions are perfect for the '70s and the world has this unpolished look to it. This is a time before cellphones and computers. There's a simplicity to it and it shines through.

Although light on scares, Abbott 1973 is oozing with cool. It's a sleek supernatural thriller that's just getting started. This is a seamless reintroduction to this world and it's clear there are quite a few terrors in store for us.


Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fivestars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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