Under the Sea

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1

A new story about one of Abe’s earlier missions, with writing by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and art by Peter Snejbjerg. Long decades after a large number of sailors drowned in a sunken Soviet submarine, Abe is assigned to swim down and recover something called Melchiorre’s Burgonet, a medieval helmet with reputed magical powers. Once Abe gets to the sub, he doesn’t find the expected zombies, just a lot of long-dead waterlogged corpses floating eerily in the darkness. He recovers the helmet, returns to the ship awaiting him, argues with the captain when he wants to salvage the sub, and then finds an unexpected visitor.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is a wonderfully atmospheric story (and a great cover, too), from the Russian sailor awaiting the water, darkness, and cold that will end him to the dreamlike scenes of drowned bodies floating through the water around and inside the sub. It’s beautifully tense horror, and you should definitely go pick this one up.

Justice Society of America #40

This ends up being a bit of an anticlimactic ending to the time travel storyarc — the message that Future Mr. Terrific sent to Present Mr. Terrific actually arrives back around Issue #32 of this series, back when Mr. Terrific died (briefly) on the operating table. This time, he revives, blurts out a message to “Hatch the egg,” and passes out again. Green Lantern, assuming he may be hearing Michael’s last request, goes out, finds the “egg,” and releases his son Obsidian from captivity. He helps to rout the crop of villains attacking the JSA, then participates in the rest of the Justice Society’s various adventures since then, and Mr. Terrific retains his memories of the future, helping the team get the drop on the Nazi supervillains and eventually offering a scholarship to the girl who would, in the alternate future, have turned out to be his interrogator.

Verdict: I’ll give it a thumbs up. It’s one of the weirder retcons I’ve seen, but it all seems to work out well. And it gets Obsidian back as an active superhero again, so I’ll proclaim that a good thing, too.

Zatanna #2

After helping Black Canary and Vixen take out a pack of were-hyenas in New Orleans, Zatanna returns home to San Francisco for some well-deserved shut-eye, but she soon falls prey to a nightmare-causing demon with the unlikely name of Fuseli, who has been empowered by the evil Brother Night to try to keep her in dreamland forever. And Brother Night is putting the squeeze on Detective Colton, too — he plans on taking over all magical and mundane crime in S.F., and he warns Colton that he better get on his good side. Can he help Zatanna escape from her dreaming prison? And who is Brother Night’s secret ace-in-the-hole?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice stuff, fun depiction of a good nightmare villain, some excellent work on cranking up the menace of Brother Night, who really is just creepy as heck, and the surprise guest appearance on the final page really makes for a good cliffhanger.

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