ABE SAPIEN #10
Writers: Mike Mignola / Scott Allie
Art: Max Fiumara
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clem Robins
Man or monster? In this issue, we follow Abe Sapien further into his journey of self-reflection since he awoke from a lengthy slumber and absence from the BPRD team. Still dealing with the events of his shooting, Abe has now stumbled upon the town of Payton, Arizona.
After befriending J.J., the town’s resident lawman, the second part of this current arc opens with flames, destroying a possible threat that emerged from a bunch of dead horses. What follows is a bit of a celebration of sorts, Abe and J.J. having a chat over drinks, in which they share some personal stories. A side of Abe we haven't really seen before, the shift in his demeanour possibly a front for the darker issues he is currently dealing with.
Meanwhile, the more sinister elements in this arc reveal themselves in the forms of one Gustav Strobl - a seemingly immortal figure who first appeared in the pages of Witchfinder, one revived Agent Vaughn from the previous arc… and a couple of zombies.
The shifts in tone and mood are highlighted well by colourist extraordinaire, Dave Stewart - with his signature reds bleeding out of the paper, which includes creepy floating tadpole creatures whilst Max Fiumara moves the story along through well paced panel work.
The issue ends with a ritual performed by the youngsters that have been camping out at the Payton golf course from issue #9, and more curiously, the frog that was placed in a cooler in that same issue, reappears and is put into an open grave, the final resting place of their (latest?) victim. - 8/10
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen / Wade Von Grawbadger
Colours: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Cory Petit
The Trial of Jean Grey [Part 3 of 5]
In last month’s issue, we saw the kidnapping of Jean Grey by the Shi’ar, following the appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy (to see how this happened, pick up last week’s GotG #11).
Picking up the pace from that issue, Jean awakes aboard a Shi’ar ship, held captive by the Gladiator & the Imperial Guard and it is revealed that she will be brought before a tribunal and charged for her crimes as the Phoenix… even though to Jean, none of this has yet come to pass. Bendis evokes the moral dilemmas of sentence prior to crime well in this issue, especially to long-time X-Men fans, with well-calculated elements which include, but not restricted to - time travel, events stemming out of Hickman’s Infinity and more pieces of X-Men history.
Its a treat to see Immonen’s take on some of these legendary characters, plus the expressions he puts on some of these character’s faces. The colours in this issue really pop and have remained consistently good since the inception of the series, despite a rotating roster of colourists.
This issue harkens back to the glory days of 90’s X-Men - cosmic adventure and drama, yet with the signature witty Bendis humour that never seems to subtract from the ongoing storyline. The time displaced X-Men, along with Professor Kitty (she must hate being called that… so much), X-23 and the Guardians - go on a mission to save Jean, but just before the issue ends they run into yet another longstanding team in X-history… the Starjammers! Cliffhanger. Damn you… and love you, Bendis. - 7/10
Manifest Destiny #4
Abe Sapien #10
All-New X-Men #23
Thor: God of Thunder #19
Marvel Knights: X-Men #4
Wolverine & the X-Men #41
Justice League 3000 #3