Pam Grier Meets John Constantine: Why You Should Be Reading “ABBOTT”

When we think of comic book heroes we typically have the superman paradigm in mind.  Someone with inhuman strength, or even a super powered alien.  ABBOTT doesn’t fall under any of those traits but she’s 100% a superhero through and through.


Set in 1970’s Detroit, Elena Abbott is a middle aged black woman who works at a news reporter.  She is the only African-American at her company and her work is very important to the black community. She reports on what others won’t: the brutalization of the Detroit’s black community. This itself has made her widely hated among the white community and a beacon of light in the black.

Artist Credit: Sami Kivelä BOOM! Studios


Pam Grier mixed with John Constantine

Elena is a cigarette smoking, whiskey drinking bad-ass without a quirk.  Her power comes from her fearlessness.  She looks the racist higher powers in the face to prove that justice prevails. Her latest stint puts her in the way of something she’s not sure she’d ever see again.  A supernatural killer.

Artist Credit: Sami Kivelä BOOM! Studios

Blast from the past

Someone or something is brutally killing men in Detroit.  Due to the demographic of most of the victims, the cops are less than willing to solve the case.  Elena steps in to make sure the story gets the attention it deserves and sees something familiar.  These deaths may have something to do with the death of her first husband.  

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Fiction Mirrors Reality

The comic is also beautifully written.  Author Saladin Ahmed (Hugo award winner) weaves a tale of two Detroit’s. There’s the one people hear about on the news, and the one that’s being lived.  This is a mirror of today’s real world coverage. The black characters you meet in ABBOTT are veterans of war, business owners, police sergeants and students.  The news in their world paints a different picture.  Outlets weave a story of hopelessness and poverty about the black population.  The same thing that’s currently happening in present day Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, the list grows daily.

Artist Credit: Sami Kivelä BOOM! Studios

ABBOTT is an ode to many things.  The 1970s, Detroit, the African-American spirit and more importantly, black women.  Black women who fought hard through the years for us to have a seat at the table.  Elena fights against racism, sexism, harassment with a tough face and a fearless spirit.  Proving Abbott, like our mothers and grandmothers, is the very definition of a superhero.

Artist Credit: Sami Kivelä BOOM! Studios

For more information on where to order ABBOTT:

For more of their work, check out Writer Saladin Ahmed on twitter @saladinahmed and Artist Sami Kivela @sami_kivela

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