Abbott #2 Review: A Potentially Beautiful Noir Story Held Back by Supernatural Themes and Text Walls

Posted by March 3, 2018 Comment

Abbott #2
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Summary
Writer: Saladin Ahmed, Artist: Sami Kivela, Color Artist: Jason Wordie, Letters: Jim Campbell, Cover by: Taj Tenfold, Designer: Michelle Ankley, Editor: Eric Harburn, Associate Editor: Chris Rosa, Abbott created by Saladin Ahmed, Publisher: Boom! Studios, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Abbott narrowly escapes the shadowy masked man. She tells the story to her editor and connects with an old friend of her deceased husband. This man is a self-styled spiritualist, and Abbott hopes that he can provide some insight. She believes there is a connection between the murders and this shadow man. She only needs to find it.

Abbott #2 cover by Taj Tenfold
Abbott #2 cover by Taj Tenfold

Abbott #1 was a pulpy noir read with a strong lead, absorbing themes of racial tension, and great dialogue. Its one major flaw was a supernatural angle that felt unnecessary and forced.

Abbott #2 brings those supernatural elements to the forefront, and they still feel like a frustrating distraction from the focus on racial tension that the first issue brought forward.

That being said, the real problem with the second issue are the endless walls of text that it thrusts in the face of the reader. There is so much dialogue, and much of it adds very little to the comic. The conversation with the editor is just recapping what we already saw in the opening sequence with the shadowy man, and it could have been abbreviated. The conversation with the spiritualist just adds some nonsense about Abbott having some destiny to defeat the shadow creatures.

Clippings of her story about the murders and increased violent crime are sprinkled throughout the comic. They seem intended to punctuate certain scenes, but they don’t really have any connection to what we’re seeing, and some of the outright don’t make sense. One is actually relevant to the scene to which it’s attached; the other two don’t.

Abbott #2 art by Sami Kivela and Jason Wordie
Abbott #2 art by Sami Kivela and Jason Wordie

Sami Kivela’s artwork is a major saving grace in the comic. This book looks phenomenal, and it maintains that pulpy noire feeling with setting and framing. Jason Wordie’s color art ranges from oppressively bright city streets to purple-and-black shadows, creating a great balance of extremes throughout the book.

Abbott #2 is frustrating. It has a story baking underneath the supernatural elements, and the lead is a fantastic character with an interesting history that keeps coming back to haunt her. However, the supernatural themes feel like they’re hijacking the story, and the dialogue is daunting in its sheer volume. I can still tentatively recommend this one and want to promote its good ideas. Just beware of its drawbacks should you choose to read it.

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(Last Updated March 3, 2018 11:55 am )

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.

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