Abbott

Written by: Saladin Ahmed

Art by: Sami Kivela & Jason Wordie

Published by: Boom!

Abbott #1 is a breath of fresh air, quite unlike anything else I’m reading. It’s unique in a variety of ways, almost all of them exciting. Of course, some amount of Abbott’s uniqueness is conceptual–for instance, it’s a story about journalism starring a woman of color investigating police brutality and race relations in 1972 Detroit. These are all good things, conceptually. There aren’t enough stories about journalism, and there certainly aren’t enough WoC protagonists in comics. But they don’t inherently make for a good comic.

Fortunately, Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivela, and Jason Wordie have spun those components into an engaging narrative.

Ahmed’s greatest success with Abbott is creating a character–the titular Elena Abbott–with nuance. So many literary works considered with social justice and commentary fall into the trap of one-note protagonists, who are concerned solely with the cause. Instead, Abbott is driven by social justice and journalism, but is also given time to be a person, with all the requisite messiness. continue

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