Elena Abbott doesn’t need any new stress in her life. As a black woman reporter in 1972 Detroit, she has to fight for respect every day in a professional climate full of racists and misogynists, and when she’s not at work, she’s haunted by memories of her first husband’s supernatural death. It doesn’t help that her personal life bleeds into her career thanks to her second (now ex-) husband, a cop who provides her story leads when he’s not dredging up the past. And her work-life balance is only getting more skewed as she pursues a story that could give her answers to the questions she’s had about her first husband’s fate. Writer Saladin Ahmed, artist Sami Kivelä, and colorist Jason Wordie weaved an engrossing web of mystical intrigue and social commentary in the first issue of their five-issue BOOM! Studios miniseries, Abbott, and the stakes are only getting higher as Elena gets pulled deeper into an occult mystery.
This exclusive preview of Abbott #2, on sale February 28, picks up immediately after the first issue’s cliffhanger, showing Elena narrowly escape an attack by a masked, robed assassin. Kivelä’s layouts control the flow of this action sequence remarkably well, beginning with a page that expands outward from that first panel of the assassin to reinforce how the demonic energy is building and threatening to swallow Elena. The panels close in at the top of the next page as Elena struggles under her attacker’s weight, intensifying the moment when she uses her camera’s flash to break free with an explosive burst of light. Wordie’s coloring uses warm and cold contrast to heighten the tension in this brief showdown, and once the threat is gone, Wordie settles back into a more restrained urban palette that helps ground the story. As with Black Bolt, Ahmed is giving his artist room to follow their unique storytelling instincts, and Abbott thrives thanks to that collaborative energy.