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"Abbott #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

Abbott 4 00

Written by Saladin Ahmed
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Colored by Jason Wordie
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 25th, 2018

Review:

Elena Abbott has had a rough few weeks.  She’s lost her job as a reporter.  Her friends are leaving her one by one.  She’s being attacked by strange supernatural Frankenstein-esque monsters.  We’ve all been there, right?  That doesn’t mean that she’s going to stop looking into this story.  She’s got a few leads and she’s pulling every favor she’s got to get to the bottom of this.  

While Abbott started out strong, it’s lost some steam.  At this point, Elena seems to be floundering a bit, grasping at whatever thread she can to conveniently put together clues.  What shines through here is her personality.  She’s spent a lot of time building relationships and trust around the city of Detroit, so when she needs information, she’s able to cut through the red tape and get it.  

Abbott 4 01Abbott 4 02
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It’s clear that Elena is getting close to something, although it’s unclear exactly what that is.  She’s attacked by these bizarre monsters, like something out of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  These unholy abominations are part animal, part human, stitched together in disturbing ways with visible scars.  It looks like their very existence is pain.  

If I’m being honest, I could read Abbott if there was not a spec of text in it.  It would be worth it for Sami Kivela’s artwork.  He never disappoints in his artistic choices, whether that’s a varied panel layout or intriguing angles.  Kivela does something different every time, creating a unique reading experience.

His layouts in particular stand out.  Some favorites in this issue include a table in the police station, covered in records and snapshots.  While some of the background Polaroids feature the actual evidence, the bulk of them show the characters themselves, having a conversation.  Kivela doesn’t overuse these layouts.  They’re used sparingly but very effectively.  
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The monsters hit the page like they just ripped through a dimension into our world.  Jason Wordie’s colors create this eerie mist around them, taking the form of misshapen demons, as if they were followed by death itself.  

Abbott feels like it has a lot of ground to make up in a very short amount of time.  This is the penultimate issue, so hopefully things get tied up nicely by the end.  Since Elena has some personal experience dealing with the supernatural, I expected her to be more attuned to this kind of story, handling it more like classics of the genre like John Constantine, Cal McDonald, or Mr. Rhee.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Abbott 4 Cover
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Abbott 4 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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