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(Abbott #1-5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,725 ratings  ·  344 reviews
While investigating police brutality and corruption in 1970s Detroit, journalist Elena Abbott uncovers supernatural forces being controlled by a secret society of the city’s elite.

In the uncertain social and political climate of 1972 Detroit, hard-nosed, chain-smoking tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates a series of grisly crimes that the police have ignored. Crimes
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by BOOM! Studios
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,725 ratings  ·  344 reviews

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I found Abbott through some friends who noticed that I liked Saladin Ahmed's Black Bolt, and it didn't disappoint.


Set in the 1970s, Evelyn Abbott is a newspaper reporter in Detroit who is always poking her nose into stories that the people in charge would rather she not. Reporting on police brutality hasn't earned her many friends in high places, but her editor, ex-husband, and the people in her community appreciate what she does and stand by her. <--and while that's cool, it's not the good pa
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Damn, I have to say I was really impressed with this. It's about a black female reporter in Detroit 1972. Not only does she have to deal with racism and sexism but she gets involved unwittingly with the supernatural as well. The dialogue and settings can be rough. I'm not disparaging the author here. It's just that I'd like to punch a few of the misogynistic and racist jerks in the book. I really liked the supernatural element to the book and since Elena Abbott is new to it as well, the reader f ...more
Read this one (a little too late) for I Read Comic Books Group.

Oh, my god. I really loved this. I need the second volume in my grubby hands right now. I really haven't been this interested in a non-superhero graphic novel since like Locke & Key or Saga. This did have some Locke & Key vibes, though. Anyone who loved that should definitely give this a shot.

One of the biggest differences from L&K is that this takes place in 1970s Detroit, told from the perspective of a controversial Black female jo
Schizanthus Nerd
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abbott is a 2019 Hugo Awards finalist in the Best Graphic Story category. description I’m not sure how to talk about this graphic novel without providing some information about the plot, so … Warning: potential spoilers ahead!

This is Elena Abbott.
She’s a reporter for the Detroit Daily and as a black woman in 1972, she’s practically surrounded by racist and misogynistic white men. The newspaper board members and most of the police force aren’t exactly thrilled about her reporting the truth, particular
Skye Kilaen
The main character, Elena Abbott, is a bi black woman journalist in 1972 Detroit who also fights the occult forces of evil. Was there a chance I'd skip reading this graphic novel? No. And while I thought the villain was maybe a tiny smidge too cheesy, overall I enjoyed this a lot and would order a sequel in a heartbeat. ...more
James DeSantis
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Part of this book I love and the other part...not so much.

So Abbott is a news reporter. She's actually really badass in her approach, similar to characters like Jessica Jones, she takes no shit from anyone. So when she begins reporting things of police brutality she begins to make enemies. However, what is really chasing her? Demons? Half human half creature visions begin to haunt her. Can she escape? Will the demons kill her or will the people in her life try to hurt her more?

It's a dark tale
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a well written and illustrated book. We are following a very strong and willful woman who's not afraid to write the truth. Abbott is basically Lois Lane but with style! I enjoyed everything about this book. If you're looking for a kick ass driven story with great art and a strong female role this is your book. ...more
Rory Wilding
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
2018 has been an exceptional year for Saladin Ahmed, who has written one of the best limited series for Marvel Comics with Black Bolt, which you can now get in two volumes. Although he still writes for Marvel with Exiles, Ahmed finds room for creator-owned work with Boom! Studios, where the writer steps into the world of 1970s pulp journalism with Abbott.

Please click here for my full review.
chantel nouseforaname
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, 5-star
One of the best comic series I've read in a while. Beautiful artwork, a fantastic story about this badass female journalist who's battling evil forces. Set in the '70s. Written magnificently. Illustrations are amazing. Well worth the read. I read each installment at different points over the past two months, but this series on a whole is perfect. Get into it. ...more
Rod Brown
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A newspaper reporter who takes their own photos while reluctantly and ineptly fighting supernatural beings in the 1970s? I could not get Kolchak: The Night Stalker out of my head the whole time I was reading this. Kolchak is now a tough as nails African American female named Abbott in order to get a little of 1970s blaxploitation films into the mix too, but still enjoyable as ever.

There was a little awkwardness in the writing as all the characters and their situations are introduced, but the cli
Shannon Appelcline
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-indy
This comic has an enthralling premise: 1973 Detroit, where a black newswoman is caught up in the occult. This could have been a great period piece, and there's some good work on racism and sexism in the '70s, just when things were beginning to change. This could have been a good noir piece, but it really doesn't do much for the genre. In fact, overall, Abbott is a bit slow and a bit unoriginal. Oh, there's some good content here, but not necessarily enough to leave you begging for more. ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd beem impressed with some of Ahmeds previous work. You can tell Ahmed really knows reporting and the city. I just didn't feel that interested in the overall plot. Journalist mixed up in some killings but involves supernatural elements. A slight noir nod but not at the level of Brubaker. ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Wow! Wow!
This was heavy, yet fantastical. I will definitely follow this comic series.
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
A cool 70’s feel, a good main character- a strong african-american female- an interesting and not too heavy-handed statement on being black (and female) in Detroit back then...

And a lousy villain.

It seems like Ahmed was more interested in the context than the plot. So the context and the characters are good when the plot is sadly underdeveloped. Maybe to be expanded in future volumes but it kind of feels like it was a constraint he had to deal with but was not particularly interested in. Or tha
Elizabeth A
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2019
Life in Detriot circa 1972 is already hard for many, and to make matters worse some grisly and frankly bizarre murders are suddenly happening. The thing is that the cops don't seem all that interested, but fear not, Elena Abbott, is going to get to the bottom of what's going on. Sure she has to deal with the expected racism and sexism, and if that wasn't enough to make her mad, there's a supernatural element at play, but no-one believes her. It's enough to make a girl chain smoke and drink her w ...more
Alexander Peterhans
First off, I applaud any effort to introduce more diversity into comics. It has been long overdue. So in that respect Abbott is a great accomplishment.

In characterisation, dialogue and plot, less so, I'm afraid. I know the dialogue is supposed to be 70s hardboiled noir, but I found most of it to be clunky, heavy-handed and much too on-the-nose. Did you know Abbott has a strict routine? It's only mentioned in just about every conversation she has. Her male editor at the paper she works for, tells
Uh, hello, Netflix? Amazon Prime? Anyone? This needs to be adapted to the screen. With its distinct noir flair with paranormal elements plus a strong female lead, it'll make a good TV show/miniseries. The story's a bit too simple and some bits pretty predictable yet the superb artwork and the sharp dialogues kept me glued.

This pairs really well with Lovecraft Country, imo: a historical examination of racial injustice and prejudice seen through an occult lens, with shitty old white men trying to exploit disenfranchised minorities in America. Abbott is set in 1970s Detroit, with a black female journalist hunting a trail of mysterious ritualised killings -- and putting up with, yk, the usual misogyny and racism dogging her in a man's world. It's got touches of noir, with Elena Abbott as the weary brandy-sipping nigh ...more
actual rating: 3.5

This was a really interesting read and definitely a new spin on the mystery + supernatural element genre smash up. Abbott is a black bisexual female reporter in 1970s Detroit and has to deal with sexism and racism in the city as well as a string of murders with a supernatural twist. Overall I would have liked it to be a little bit longer, but I think there were a lot of excellent things in here and it's definitely a time, place, and protagonist that is not often focused on in h
Ed Erwin
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, comics
Fabulous story that combines a black female detective in 1972 Detroit with supernatural horror inspired by Lovecraft. (There is a character named Howard Phillip Bellcamp, in case the influence wasn't obvious.) As good as Locke and Key or anything by Ed Brubaker. ...more
Meghna Mandava
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantasy in 1970s Detroit, nice. The ending was a little rushed but otherwise cool concept, nice flow and illustrations, has potential
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Billed as a supernatural crime thriller set in 1970s Detroit, I was already in, but then having this tough-as-nails investigative reporter in Elena Abbott as the lead, well... It's just too good.

Abbott works for a daily newspaper, and gets tips on stories from her ex-husband, a police sergeant. She stumbles on to a gruesome murder that brings up a painful past, and then starts seeing supernatural creatures around town. What evil force is behind this?

Urban fantasy plus retro 70s: It's a good comb
Samantha (AK)
Detroit, 1972

It’s a time of strife and tension, and reporter Elena Abbott’s landed right in the middle of things. After her last expose, which centered on a police brutality incident, she’s been encouraged to keep a low profile. But the latest story to cross her desk has her on the trail of the dark, supernatural forces that killed her first husband, and now have come gunning for her.

My last encounter with Ahmed’s work was Throne of the Crescent Moon, which landed firmly in my DNF pile after abo
Stephanie (aka WW)
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) Elena Abbott is a badass black female reporter in 1970’s Detroit. She doesn’t take shit from anyone, including the supernatural influences that she begins to encounter around the city. I liked the artwork, especially the 70’s styling, but couldn’t quite get into the storyline. It seemed too rushed for me. I would have liked more buildup, more background, because I really did like Elena’s character. I hope that more is coming on her.
Absolutely gorgeous artwork and fantastic characters. I felt that the mystery and supernatural/horror aspects could have been further developed - the downside of a five-issue storyline in my opinion.
The setting was excellent - 1970s Detroit with a black female bisexual lead as a kickass journalist? Yes, please!
Overall, worth the read (especially for the art - did I mention how awesome the art was?) but didn't go as in-depth as I would have liked. 3.5 stars
May 18, 2019 added it
Perfect mix of historical and supernatural thriller with a kickass reporter lead. Would read more. #bookclub4m
Newly Wardell
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is just works. The story and art work are both top notch.
Man, I got this for a graphic novel exchange for a book club, I'm in and now I'm going to go buy a new book because this loses all of its steam at the end.

Elena Abbott is a great character: bisexual black tabloid journalist fighting something supernatural from her past. The problem is that the book just moves too quickly. It never stops to establish. In one scene, we arrive at a hedge maze and immediately upon walking in, there's a chase scene. It's little opportunities to breathe like this that
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A fairly rote urban fantasy elevated by its badass black bisexual female lead. I want more of this character but less of the 'chosen one' narrative. ...more
The art here is evocative, the character relationships complex, the time period well-conveyed. But it's also not a thing I ever would have read without the Hugos prodding me into it; urban fantasy horror isn't much my thing, and nor are Manichean battles between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Darkness.

I did like (view spoiler)
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I Read Comic Books: November BotM Discussion - Abbot 20 38 Jan 14, 2021 12:18PM  

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Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, MI.

His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year's Best Fantasy and numerous other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. He is represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary A

Other books in the series

Abbott (5 books)
  • Abbott #1
  • Abbott #2
  • Abbott #3
  • Abbott #4
  • Abbott #5

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