"Abbott #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Saladin Ahmed
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Colored by Jason Wordie
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 28th, 2018
Elena Abbott's investigation into some strange goings-on in 1970s Detroit heats up. She's attacked by a mysterious masked man wielding a sacrificial blade, which only makes her more determined to solve this thing. Elena hits the pavement looking for answers.
Much of Abbott #2 is spent as Elena goes from place to place and colleague to colleague to gather evidence and put together her story. Sure, she's injured from the encounter in the alley, but she's got to get this information together. As such, the supernatural elements are a little light in this issue, but they're not non-existent. They're saved for the end with a startling and unsettling image that had my jaw dropping.
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As much as I love this character, I think I love Sami Kivela's artwork more. He can frame a scene in such interesting ways that draw your attention to specific details that you might not have noticed otherwise. The images flow nicely, guiding you effortlessly through the story. Every aspect of it is incredible.
Kivela occasionally offers a glimpse into a character's mind, literally showing what they're thinking. This is done in some creative ways, such as showing a person's head in silhouette, with the shadow filled by a swirling cloud of memory. It's used sparingly, but very effectively. It also serves as a reminder that this is a horror book and we're never too far away from the scares.
Jason Wordie's colors give Abbott an old-school look, like it's a book that was unearthed from a decades-long prison in an attic somewhere. The shades are a little faded, giving it the look of the time period. This gives the more action-packed scenes an added intensity, as you're suddenly hit with bolder colors, particularly red when blood is spilled.
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Elena is like the best private detectives of the noir era. She's smart, capable, and notices every little detail. She's usually a few steps ahead of others as she's putting together clues. It's also clear that the people she interacts with on a daily basis care about her deeply. She's made an impact on their lives and they'll do anything to help or protect her.
Writer Saladin Ahmed has created an intriguing and powerful character in Elena Abbott. You can't help but get wrapped up in her life and her pursuit for the truth. This puts her in danger and she's not going to back down any time soon. We get a ton of information in this issue about this case and it's done in an organic way that never feels like an exposition dump. Abbott is a solid detective story mixed with just the right amount of supernatural terror.