(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Sami Kivela (C) Jason Wordie
While it’s a news reporter’s job to uncover the truth, their job description does not involve protecting people, dealing with dark beings and being prophesied to save the world. Whether it be Superman to Peter Parker, it seems like all superheroes use journalism as a cover-up. In this case, our protagonist became a superhero because she was a journalist. Please note, my colleague Daniel Gehen has already done a review on this work. Our reviews are purely our own and they have not been influenced by one another.
Abbott is about a journalist name Elena Abbott and she comes across a deadly murder case near a warehouse in Detroit during the 1970s. After dealing one instance, the case continues to grow with more people getting murdered. With each person getting murdered, she is the only person who knowingly feels dark energy around them and incidentally comes across demons, also called the Umbra, that try to kill her. As she survives one day at a time, she tries to solve the case in the hopes of defeating the dead and spreading the truth to the community.
While the tale plays on the classic role of demons and shadow realms, its main emphasis is on the balance of realism and how magic subtlely crosses into the human world. The magical elements are not so obvious. More so, the magical elements haven’t taken over the universe in this comic. Rather, it is used in small hints in places we would expect to find magic such as mystical tarot shops and in the legends of people’s cultures. While the magic isn’t heavily covered in this issue, it will most likely get covered more in the next issue should the creators continue this work. The setting of the story does wonders as it takes place during a time period where change wasn’t the key to survival. While many older readers lived through this time period, a lot of younger readers may or may not like the historical feel. Detroit was considered a significant city in the 1970s and it is good to see the creators paying homage to this great city. I hope readers take the time to appreciate the culture Detroit had for the time period.
Elena is not a badass by any means. She ends up getting caught up in this magical mess because of the people she associated with. While she is a grown-ass woman who can easily handle herself, she does know how to ask for help on her cases when she needs to. But she usually forgets how to protect herself in a dangerous situation. I should also mention that she is an African American women in the 1970s. Considering the amount of racism she faces, she tries everything to tell the truth about different cases rather than giving what the public wants to hear. Her loved ones, like her ex-husband, her boss and ex-lover each play a significant role in her life on a day to day basis. For example, her boss Fred acknowledges the prowess Elena possesses as a journalist but cannot acknowledge all of her views as an African American. At the same token, her ex-husband James may be a sleazy jackass but still takes the time to be good friends with Elena and help one another on their cases. It needs to be said that Elena is her own person and DOES NOT belong to anyone BUT HERSELF.
The art was a classic comic style similar to DC’s golden era comics. While most of the flashiness is focused on the magic, most of the palette that was used is much more subdued. Colors aren’t excessively. Rather, the artists took the time to focus on the lighting for different times of the day. Some people may find the style boring, but I like the dull, classic style.
My favorite character in the story was Sebastian. While he is the character who has the closest connection to magic, he is the ex-husband of Elena’s lover. Yes, this is correct. Sebastian and Elena may not have a strong connection to another, but he is her link to the magical realm. His wistful, yet inquisitive nature comes across as dreamy. However, he is actually a very realistic person. It’s his approach to magic that makes him come across as dreamy. He is underestimated and was a key player that kept me on my seat.
Overall, this story has a decent plot with great characters. I do wish there could have been slightly different plot tropes used for this story. The characters have their own personalities and fit the viewpoints for the time period. Finally, the mystery Elena has to face is nicely set up. For more information about this comic, click here for more information.