BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Abbott: 1973 #3, the latest issue of the new series from Miles Morales: Spider-Man mastermind and Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed and acclaimed artist Sami Kivelä, with colorist Mattia Iacono and letterer Jim Campbell. This new five-issue series returns to the Hugo Award-nominated world of Abbott, as the eponymous unstoppable reporter tackles a new corruption taking over Detroit in 1973 and the supernatural threat behind it, available in March 2021.
The dark forces terrorizing Detroit have struck Elena Abbott where it hurts most…and she’s going to strike back. But even after pulling together an uneasy alliance with the last people she expected, Abbott is about to learn her enemies are one step ahead of her… and it might cost her the person she loves most.
Abbott: 1973 #3 features cover art by Taj Tenfold, Raúl Allén, and Dani with colors by Tamra Bonvillain. It will be available for sale on March 17, 2021.
The minute I finished the first Abbott book by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä it became my go-to recommendation for people looking to get into comics. It still holds that position. A lot of it is due to how much like a contemporary comic it feels like, as if you were reading something that couldn’t have come out any other time, despite it being set in 1970’s Detroit while also borrowing ideas from the political thrillers and horror movies of that decade.
To say I was anxiously awaiting the first issue of its second arc is an understatement of the highest order. Following the investigations of journalist Elena Abbott—“a detective for the people,” as the comic proclaims—feels like taking a journey through the underbelly of America’s unique version of systemic racism, a brutal trek through it with the intention of deconstructing all of it with dark magic thrown into the mix to further power the metaphors at play in the story.
The second arc seems to be operating on the same wavelength, with Abbott facing yet another supernatural threat fueled by racial animosity, only this time the powers of corruption are looking to dismantle the candidacy of a Detroit mayoral candidate poised to become the city’s first black person to take up the position.
Set in 1973, Ahmed and Kivelä keep the titular journalist from straying from her old-school investigative methods, echoing movies like All the President’s Men in terms of how it develops a sense of danger that bubbles up with each attempt at shedding light on the potential sabotage of the black mayoral candidate. Each new sliver of information dug up through her investigation raises the stakes not just for the story she’s working on but for her very own sense of safety.
Ahmed and Kivelä achieve this in the first book, which focuses on elected officials dabbling in dark magic to keep black communities in a constant state of chaos and instability, a tactic that allowed the ruling class to justify anti-black measures in the name of public safety (not to mention precious votes).
In Abbott 1973, the protagonist is now well aware of the dark influences that are trying to disrupt Detroit’s political structure while also being conscious of the fact magic and journalism have a complicated history with the public standard of veracity and reliability.
While these ideas are difficult to separate from the character and her story, Ahmed and Kivelä manage to complicate Abbott’s daily grind even more with an added focus on social notions of femininity in the public arena and in the professional workspace.
The comic dives into these obstacles through a new black character that comes into Abbott’s newspaper organization as its latest publisher, a man called Mr. Manning. This new figure of authority insists on keeping up appearances concocted by male-dominated notions of etiquette and behavior, instructing Abbott on how women should dress and behave in the workplace.
Given the story’s focus on change, and how the election of Detroit’s first black mayor stands as a plea for it, Abbott 1973 #1 looks to the country’s past to reflect on the current state of politics, be it racial or otherwise. Just how deep the comic will go to comment on this remains to be seen, but it’s well on its way to add something to the conversation (especially in the context of a very divided United States that’s growing further apart on a daily basis).
Kivelä’s art continues to favor that 1970’s grittiness prominent in that decade’s movies, deftly weaving realism with supernatural sights that carry a kind of violence to them on mere presence alone. Each character looks storied, the result of a long line of personal experiences that carry over into their overall looks.
Mattia Iacono’s colors complements the seventies vibe of the story beautifully with muted colors that make the darker elements jump out of the page even more when they manifest themselves. It creates a heaviness around the more horror-inclined sequences and can feel downright oppressive when Abbott as at the receiving end of them.
On the dark magic side of the story, Abbott 1973 is careful not to allow it to get lost in the social commentary that’s clearly in display in every page. Be it in hints of paranormal activity or outright terror, the hauntings Ahmed and Kivelä have cooked up for Abbott feel like an organic element of the story and they do their fair share of the worldbuilding. They are integral to the comic’s message and are smartly implemented.
Abbott 1973 #1 is a perfect continuation of Elena Abbott’s investigations into how magic has been taken over by racists bent on keeping America divided. Ahmed and Kivelä have one of the best characters in comics in their hands and they seem to be well aware of it. Abbott is the kind of creation one hopes becomes an industry staple, producing hundreds of stories for years to come.
Script: Saladin Ahmed Art: Sami Kivelä Color: Mattia Iacono Letterer: Jim Campbell Story: 9.0Art: 9.0Overall: 9.0Recommendation: Buy and brush up on Detroit history
Today, the finalists for the 2019 Hugo Awards, Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and for the 1944 Retrospective Hugo Awards were announced online today by Dublin 2019.
Below are the nominees for “Best Graphic Story” and you can get the full list of nominees here. Three Image Comics series were nominated while BOOM!, Marvel, and First Second all received one nomination.
Congrats to all those nominated!
Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden (First Second)
Paper Girls, Volume 4, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
Below are the finalists for the 1944 Retrospective Hugo Awards for “Best Graphic Story.”
Buck Rogers: Martians Invade Jupiter, by Philip Nowlan and Dick Calkins (National Newspaper Service)
Flash Gordon: Fiery Desert of Mongo, by Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate)
Garth, by Steve Dowling (Daily Mirror)
Plastic Man #1: The Game of Death, by Jack Cole (Vital Publications)
Le Secret de la Licorne [The Secret of the Unicorn], by Hergé (Le Soir)
Wonder Woman #5: Battle for Womanhood, written by William Moulton Marsden, art by Harry G. Peter (DC Comics)
Vietnamese Memories – This series by Clement Baloup is not only timely but tells stories that rarely get the time of day, even in comics
Tao Te Ching – The creative team behind this book does more than an adaptation of this important tome, they make it understandable to every reader
The Prince and The Dressmaker – In probably one of the most heartfelt stories I have read this year, Jen Wang, proves to be a master storyteller in story and art, in a story that proves that people are more than meets the eye
X-Men: Grand Design – Ed Piskor has proven himself to be one today’s premiere creators with his Hip Hop Family Tree series, and he shows his love for the X-Men in this series that packs so much in in one panel, it puts most creators to shame.
Old Man Hawkeye – Although this series is meant to be a precursor to Old Man Logan, I found this story to be even more compelling than the story that follows this, as we meet many old faces, as well as new ones, giving fans a dystopian world very much like Walking Dead, but with superheroes.
How To Read Nancy – Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden give comic book fans a treasure trove of information in what really is a textbook but also a graphic novel, as this book both entertains and educates fans on the history of this comic strip and how one should deconstruct a comic strip in the first place.
Abbott – In what is part thriller/ supernatural romance, we get a tale of an investigative reporter in Detroit searching for the truth about some ghastly unsolved murders that the police have ignored, one of them being the death of her husband.
Sleepless – As a fan of historical medieval stories, like The Tudors and The Borgias (both series) this series begins with heartbreak as the protagonist, Lady Pyppenia, is the sole heir to the throne, one currently occupied by her uncle, who sees her as a threat, as the series antes up on “ palace intrigue” as she navigates the scary waters of being a royal, as well as romance, as she starts to fall for her guard, the Sleepless Knight, Cyrenic.
Shards Volume 2 – As one of the best upcoming comic studios in the past few years, we get another collection from this talented collective, with their wide array of stories and characters that leave readers engrossed in these worlds, leaving nothing to chance.
Power& Magic: Immortal Souls – In an excellent collection from this small press company out of Oregon, we get a second volume of stories about witches who just so happen to be LGBTQ or POC or both, in what is a pure joy to read from such interesting voices
Destiny, New York Volume 2 – In the continuation of this excellent series, we drop back into the world of Logan and Lilith, and the mysterious magical underworld that lies in plain view, as they face controversy , secrets and ultimately, loss.
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation – In this fantastic adaptation, we finally get to see Anne in all her complexities, as the heartbreak will get the reader even if you know what will happen
Happy new year to everyone. We hope your celebration was safe and fun. Thank you for making 2018 great and on to 2019! We’re kicking it off with some news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
As a fan of excellent storytelling, I appreciate it no matter the genre. Who could not love the multiple storylines and endless heart tugs that can be found in Love Actually? Then there’s sprawling and tempered narrative of an All-American family but riddled with bullets and blood in The Godfather. The first Guardians Of The Galaxy was a blend of genres but told a seamless and original story.
One of the few genres that rarely gets the respect it should receive is the horror genre. Although one of its main functions is to make the audience’s collective skin crawl, it still takes readers on quite a journey. Candyman gave moviegoers a rare unseen view of the true to life terrors those who live in poverty face and just how invisible they are to the world at large. Since then, not too many movies since have struck the balance between being relatable and being entertaining, with the exceptions of recent movies Get Out and Sorry To Bother You. This same poise can be found in Abbott where we’re taken to 1972 Detroit and a mysterious series of grisly murders.
We are dropped right in the middle of one of the hottest summers in Detroit, one which sees the tension between the police and the city’s black population come to a boiling point. This is where we meet Elena Abbott, a sharp chain-smoking tabloid black female reporter, whose recent articles revolved around police brutality and who doesn’t care for anything to do with the Boys Club or the Good Ole Boy Club, as the snide remarks and the way other reporters cut her with their eyes, doesn’t her make flinch, but what she sees at the crime scene does. We soon find out that she had lost her husband to some demonic forces, as these memories of him flood her mind at the most unexpected moments. Soon, she is called to another crime scene, one that reminds her of the evil she seen that night her husband died, something she thought she would never see again.
Overall, it’s a sobering and fresh take on the supernatural genre, that mixes horror, crime noir, period drama, and thriller into a pulse pounding story. The story by Saladin Ahmed is suspenseful, imaginative, and enigmatic. The at by Sami Kivela, Jason Wordie and Taj Tenfold feels like it jumped out of a 1970s comic but with a new school sensibility. Altogether, a book that proves Saladin Ahmed should write more comic books as he’s a voice that is more than needed now.
Story: Saladin Ahmed Art: Sami Kivela, Jason Wordie, and Taj Tenfold Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Saladin Ahmed Artist: Sami Kivelä Colorist: Jason Wordie Letterer: Jim Campbell Cover Artist: Taj Tenfold Price: $17.99
Hugo Award-nominated novelist Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt) and artist Sami Kivelä (Beautiful Canvas) present one woman’s search for the truth that destroyed her family.
Hard-nosed, chain-smoking tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates a series of grisly crimes that the police have ignored. Crimes she knows to be the work of dark occult forces. Forces that took her husband from her. Forces she has sworn to destroy.
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Sami Kivelä
Cover Artist: Taj Tenfold
Colorist: Taj Tenfold
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Captured by the maniacal villain who has been wreaking havoc on Detroit, it’ll take all of Abbott’s gumption and latent abilities to escape his clutches and save the city from the encroaching darkness.