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Abe Sapien, Vol. 1: The Drowning (Abe Sapien #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,195 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
A century ago, paranormal investigator Edward Grey fought and destroyed a powerful warlock off the coast of the island of Saint Sebastien. In the early 1980s, the B.P.R.D.'s newest agent was sent to retrieve the warlock's remains. But Abe Sapien is ill prepared for the dark forces that block his way. Written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, and featuring the haunting art o ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 144 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Dark Horse Books (first published September 16th 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sesana
Aug 14, 2013 Sesana rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, comics
This is a solid, engaging story with some really good imagery. But I imagine that how much you like it will depend almost entirely on how much you like Abe himself, and whether or not you think he's cut out to be the leading man in a story. I do, and I tend to really enjoy the stories that Abe has a starring part in. This was no exception. The art is not by Mignola himself, which I know can be a sticking point for some people. Let's face it, nobody does the Hellboy universe as well as Mignola do ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 29, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Set during the years when Hellboy was AWOL, Abe Sapien sets out to investigate the claims of a haunted fishing village. Enter pirates and buried treasure, zombies, voodoo and witches, large sea creatures and rough seas. The art on offer here is fantastic. Jason Shawn Alexander brings Mignola's script to life with vibrant pictures of doomed pirate vessels from the 18th century, lonely coastlines caught in the last glow of a sunset, and the empty, chilling stare of a soulless creature. Mignola's c ...more
Robert
Nov 18, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing
First solo adventure, with an appropriately amphibious locale.
Scott Firestone
Feb 14, 2017 Scott Firestone rated it it was ok
So...the first 10 pages of this are GREAT! Exciting! Action-packed! No dialogue! Cool art! I was thinking this would be an amazing book. But after those 10 pages it's Exposition City, with the occasional action thrown in. But not enough to make this anything but pretty dang boring.
Jonathan
2.5 stars

Ever since the first movie, I've always loved Abe.



Naturally, reading a solo-story of his sounded intriguing. The art doesn't disappoint, even though it's not Mignola.



I did feel like the story was a bit weak and lacked a knockout punch to make it really interesting. In all honesty I would still read the next volume.

Brandon St Mark
I really liked this introduction to Abe Sapien. He is (currently) my favorite Mignolaverse characters, so I'm interested to see where this series takes him. The art was really cool, and the story was really interesting also. All in all, a great start!
Arlomisty
Apr 05, 2017 Arlomisty rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Good, scary Mike Mignola book... first in the series. Will probably pick up a couple more here and there.
Jeff Lanter
Jul 20, 2016 Jeff Lanter rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Hellboy is what got me into reading comics as an adult so it will always hold a special place in my heart. With that said, I have not read anything Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien, or Lobster Johnson in a year or two because I've stopped buying print comics and am transitioning my collection to digital comics. That made me really happy to return to this world and I have missed reading these unique kind of stories. I say all this because it may have made me enjoy Abe Sapien more than the average pe ...more
Spencer
Feb 10, 2017 Spencer rated it really liked it
This is a solid story which is well suited to kick off Abe's comic series. The writing as ever is brilliant and whilst this isn't a fast paced tale, it is engrossing and thoughtfully written. I really liked this story and the gorgeous artwork by Jason Shawn Alexander.
Steve Chaput
Nov 18, 2014 Steve Chaput rated it really liked it
Any fan of HELLBOY, whether in film or in the comics, knows that Abe Sapien is one of the closest friends the big guy has. They also know that Abe has been around a long time and while just as brave as Hellboy, he's not quite as ready to just run into the action without thinking things through.

When the remains of a long dead warlock begins to turn things nasty in a coastal town, the B.P.R.D. sends in Abe to see what is going on and put an end to it if possible. As this is the characters first s
...more
Michael
May 24, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
I've always liked Abe as a supporting character but he's no Hellboy. There is a slight theme reflecting that running through the book. For me he's best used as a quiet contrast to the big red guy. Still there is some nice Mike Mignola writing here. It's very spare as always but Mike lets the myths & legends colour them selves and shows that you don't need lots of exposition for a mood piece like this. The art is pretty good but it isn't Mike's art - his stuff only appears on the covers - sha ...more
Rosa
Abe Sapien was always one of my favorite Hellboy characters, so when I saw he had his own book I was immediately intrigued. In this book Hellboy is away and no one knows when he is coming back so when the B.P.R.D. needs someone to retrieve a dagger and body from underwater, they decide to give Abe a chance. The myths and tales behind the story were very interesting; I found myself wondering if they were based on real historical facts or out of the writers heads. The dark monochromatic color pala ...more
Charlie George
Nov 15, 2008 Charlie George rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of comics or the occult
Shelves: graphic-novels
On par with the rest of the Hellboy series, with Abe earning his stripes solo and Hellboy taking a hiatus. As always, the artwork is a thing of beauty, infusing rich detail into a story told with remarkably few words. Also consistent with the series is deep and plentiful sampling from ancient history, pseudo-history, and dark, cavernous tales of the occult.

Throw into this mix BPRD agents, magical weapons (both ancient and modern) and epic battles with terrifying monsters and you have yourself an
...more
Laura
Oh, *that*'s where he comes from.
k.wing
Feb 16, 2015 k.wing rated it it was amazing
I heart Abe Sapien. This is masterful storytelling and gorgeous artwork. Fantastic first volume. I can't wait to get the second one!
Barrett
Jun 15, 2017 Barrett rated it really liked it
This volume doesn't do as great a job establishing the mystique and intrigue as the first volume of Hellboy. But as the kickoff to exploring a supporting character in the Hellboy-verse, it's a fun read.
Andy 117
Oct 10, 2014 Andy 117 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-comic-tpbs
Abe Sapien represents the best of Hellboy's dark, brooding undertones, without bringing any of the wit of warmth of the Hellboy character. The result is a fantastic story, steeped in classic prose and artistry, that sadly has none of the defining features that let Hellboy break out of its own genre and become a comic institution.

The story concerns B.P.R.D. agent Abe Sapien, Hellboy's fishman friend, as he embarks on his very first solo mission. There's a lot of old monster story vibes in here; w
...more
Wing Kee
Dec 17, 2014 Wing Kee rated it really liked it
Oh Abe my boy, you did well.

Being the first full Abe arc I did not what to expect. Sure we've had Abe centered stories before but that was part of the BPRD. This arc, this ones about his first solo mission and it's fitting that this is his first solo arc.

World: The art is moody, it's super scratchy (which I generally am not a fan of) and the colors are dark and brooding. The art took me a while to get into but man oh man were the monsters drawn well or what. The colors really set the tone for
...more
Julian
Jun 30, 2014 Julian rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
This volume hearkens back to one of the most drawn out and uninteresting parts in Abe Sapien's character development and chronicles his first solo mission. Because it's his first mission Abe is afflicted with doubt upon doubt about his reliability and if he is suited for this kind of work. Distraught-Abe was one of the more annoying elements in the early BPRD books until the introduction of Daimio (and when Abe subsequently quit moping around). This wouldn't have been quite so bad but, after hav ...more
Craig
Jan 31, 2011 Craig rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
ABE SAPIEN VOLUME 1: THE DROWNING is really an odd duck. Why it's not included in the BPRD series is an editorial decision that I'll never understand. The book is not served to be divorced from the regular series. Rebranding within brands makes my head hurt/ confuses the larger audience, and I can't say the book is helped by this. Additionally, the artwork is okay-to-loose; fine art background or not, I can't help but think Alexander would shine on a different sort of project.

Other reviews noti
...more
Orrin Grey
Jan 04, 2011 Orrin Grey rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, re-read, mignola
I like most of the artists who've been pulled in to do Hellboy/B.P.R.D. universe spin-off titles, and there's nothing wrong with Jason Shawn Alexander's art, but on this title it suffers from not being Mignola's. Mignola's writing is sharp here, and it's a near-perfect example of what he's best at, but, while I always miss his art on any of the Hellboy spin-off stuff that he doesn't pencil, I seldom find myself saying "I wish Mignola were drawing this as often as I did with this one.

I think that
...more
Michel
Aug 29, 2015 Michel rated it really liked it
In 1884 plant occult detective en special agent to Queen Victoria Edward Grey een dolk in het lijk van de Nederlandse warlock Epke Vrooman. Niet zomaar een dolk, natuurlijk: een Lipu-dolk, gemaakt in een Tibetaans klooster, speciaal om demonen te verslaan.

Dat gebeurde op een schip, waarvan de bemanning eigenlijk ook al dood was, en uiteindelijk vergaat het schip ergens voor Saint Sébastien, en zinkt alles, lijk van Vrooman incluis, tot op de bodem van de zee.

In 1981 krijgt Abe Sapien met twee co
...more
Alicia
Jan 26, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it
Abe's first solo adventure reveals him as a guy (fish-guy? alien-guy?) with a whole slew of demons to face. Some of those demons are his own misgivings about his abilities, and some of those demons are mean little soul-sucking creatures created by an ancient devil who is about to be awakened from his watery resting place.

Great pacing - Mignola works frame-by-frame with his illustrators, and his eye for cinema and mood really shows, no matter who is doing the drawing. Always interesting to see ho
...more
Nayla Caruso
Aug 13, 2014 Nayla Caruso rated it really liked it
Love Mignola and the Hellboy universe in general, but I particularly love any material focusing on the nuanced and thoughtful Abe. This book shows us part of the journey from the milder Abe we're familiar with (the one reflected in the books) and how he took a few levels in badass by the end of the BPRD series (before BPRD: Hell On Earth). There's a nice moment for Abe/Liz shippers too. This one is strong on the mythos to boot!

Cons? It might show a little more than I like of the mythos, I prefer
...more
Matthew Brady
May 23, 2014 Matthew Brady rated it liked it
Abe gets his own miniseries here, and it's pretty good, a Hellboy-style story in which he investigates what seems to be a small matter that turns out to be a pretty big deal, gets involved with stuff that's beyond his comprehension but involves immortal Hyperborean bad guys and something having to do with his origins, and fights all manner of creepy monsters. I ended up liking it a lot, although I don't know how well Jason Shawn Alexander's art fits in to the Mignola-verse. It's a bit scratchy a ...more
Mel
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was all the things that Mike Mignola does best, a very creepy story mixed with occult and folklore elements, with a hint of Lovecraft. I think what made this stand above even the usually great Hellboy books was that Abe was so unsure of himself throughout it. He blamed himself for all that had gone wrong, and was filled with self doubt that was almost more dangerous than the undead monsters he was dealing with. The art for this was also particularly good. So man ...more
Nick TheLibraryGuy
Mar 10, 2009 Nick TheLibraryGuy rated it liked it
I really like Abe as a character because of the HB movies, and for a GN that's about him, you don't really see him much. The spine boldly declares this is v.1, so I'm hoping he's developed more in later installments.

Also, I'm a Mignola newby, having never read any of the other Hellboy GN, so there's your disclaimer.

The art isn't always my thing, but I appreciate the monochromatic color pallet they use to depict certain moods. It's always interesting to see what they can do with brown ink and som
...more
Portia S
Dec 26, 2014 Portia S rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love the artwork, this kid, after his work on Seinfeld, you know, he goes into comic book stuff, amazing.

(that was a joke)

The story was cool/ okay, I don't think I really got a clear feeling of characterization of who Abe Sapien really is. It felt like a story just to give him one, there was a water element, and also an allusion to another greater darker demon, so once more I feel like I have to read some more of the stuff to really get it. :)
Feather Mista
Oct 18, 2014 Feather Mista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mignolistas
Recommended to Feather by: mignolismo
¡Este Abe Sapien sí que tiene agallas!
El chiste es muy malo pero el comic es bastante bueno, sobre todo a nivel atmosférico, aunque no tanto narrativo. Y aunque el protagonista no me resulte particularmente carismático (y él lo sabe, lo que lo vuelve un poco más interesante) y su aventura me haya parecido un tanto estirada, me gustó lo suficiente como para tirarme a "El diablo no bromea y otras historias" en cuanto pueda.
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Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn't remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.

In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began wo
...more
More about Mike Mignola...

Other Books in the Series

Abe Sapien (9 books)
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 2: The Devil Does Not Jest and Other Stories (Abe Sapien, #2)
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 3: Dark & Terrible & the New Race of Man
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 4: The Shape of Things to Come
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 5: Sacred Places
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 6: A Darkness So Great
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 7: The Secret Fire
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 8: The Desolate Shore (Abe Sapien #8)
  • Abe Sapien, Vol. 9: Lost Lives and Other Stories (Abe Sapien, #9)

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