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While investigating police brutality and corruption in 1970s Detroit, journalist Elena Abbott uncovers supernatural forces being controlled by a secret society of the city’s elite.

In the uncertain social and political climate of 1972 Detroit, 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.

Hugo Award-nominated novelist Saladin Ahmed ( Star Canto Bight, Black Bolt ) and artist Sami Kivelä ( Beautiful Canvas ) present one woman's search for the truth that destroyed her family amidst an exploration of the systemic societal constructs that haunt our country to this day.

128 pages, Paperback

First published October 30, 2018

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About the author

Saladin Ahmed

341 books1,734 followers
Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, MI.

His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year's Best Fantasy and numerous other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. He is represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is his first novel.

Saladin lives near Detroit with his wife and twin children.

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5 stars
732 (30%)
4 stars
1,152 (47%)
3 stars
465 (19%)
2 stars
74 (3%)
1 star
12 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
4,063 reviews69.5k followers
October 22, 2020
I found Abbott through some friends who noticed that I liked Saladin Ahmed's Black Bolt, and it didn't disappoint.


Set in the 1970s, Evelyn Abbott is a newspaper reporter in Detroit who is always poking her nose into stories that the people in charge would rather she not. Reporting on police brutality hasn't earned her many friends in high places, but her editor, ex-husband, and the people in her community appreciate what she does and stand by her. <--and while that's cool, it's not the good part!


Hinky deaths, crazy magic, scary shadows, and some sort of human/monster hybrids are invading the city and she's the only one with the tools to stop it.


This one has a nice mix of magic & mystery to it, plus I liked the art.
Without spoiling anything, I can say that Abbott would be a great choice for anyone looking for a good horror comic.
Profile Image for Chad.
8,147 reviews906 followers
March 21, 2022
Damn, I have to say I was really impressed with this. It's about a black female reporter in Detroit 1972. Not only does she have to deal with racism and sexism but she gets involved unwittingly with the supernatural as well. The dialogue and settings can be rough. I'm not disparaging the author here. It's just that I'd like to punch a few of the misogynistic and racist jerks in the book. I really liked the supernatural element to the book and since Elena Abbott is new to it as well, the reader finds answers as Abbott does. The art and coloring work really well with the feel of the book and set the mood. I'm really looking forward to more adventures set in this world.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,085 reviews5,074 followers
May 10, 2021
Don't ask me why it took me so long to start Abbott because it is absolutely everything that I look for in comic book series especially those that are published by companies outside of the big two

Abbott focuses on a Black woman in Detroit in the 1970s as she works for a newspaper. When Abbott decides to cover a story related to the death of a Black boy in the city many of the newspapers board members want her removed from her position. As Abbott attempts to cover and navigate the issues related to the "two versions" of Detroit (one Black and one White), Ahmed spends a great deal of time weaving in paranormal elements that are related to Abbott's late romantic partner. As a comic book, I was intrigued that this book covered the complex theme of race while also adding a fantastical element. Being completely transparent, I wasn't anticipating that kind of mash up from this book. It was dark in a lot of places and there are some tough things that Abbott must work through. There are also some pretty gory scenes included so be forewarned if you don't do well with gore. While this didn't necessarily end of a cliffhanger, I'm interested in seeing where Ahmed takes the story in Abbott 1973. There is more specific character development that I'm looking forward to seeing in the next arc of this story. The art was not necessarily my favorite, but it does complement the story quite well. Because the story is gritty, the gritty artwork works well with the overall tone. If you haven't read this one yet definitely check it out.
Profile Image for Eli.
717 reviews110 followers
December 1, 2018
Read this one (a little too late) for I Read Comic Books Group.

Oh, my god. I really loved this. I need the second volume in my grubby hands right now. I really haven't been this interested in a non-superhero graphic novel since like Locke & Key or Saga. This did have some Locke & Key vibes, though. Anyone who loved that should definitely give this a shot.

One of the biggest differences from L&K is that this takes place in 1970s Detroit, told from the perspective of a controversial Black female journalist (controversial only because she's calling out police brutality, racism, and police coverups in her articles). I really loved this about Abbott. I just finished reading a book about the intersectionality of race and gender, so I had no problem with the not-so-subtle racism and sexism Elena Abbott had to endure [solely for the fact that it paints an accurate picture of racism and sexism in the 1970s].
Also, the main character, a woman of color in the 1970s, is .

So this was an absolute win on all fronts for me. Can't wait to read the next one!
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books319 followers
November 1, 2020
The main character, Elena Abbott, is a bi black woman journalist in 1972 Detroit who also fights the occult forces of evil. Was there a chance I'd skip reading this graphic novel? No. And while I thought the villain was maybe a tiny smidge too cheesy, overall I enjoyed this a lot and would order a sequel in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,194 reviews249 followers
July 28, 2019
Abbott is a 2019 Hugo Awards finalist in the Best Graphic Story category. description I’m not sure how to talk about this graphic novel without providing some information about the plot, so … Warning: potential spoilers ahead!

This is Elena Abbott.
She’s a reporter for the Detroit Daily and as a black woman in 1972, she’s practically surrounded by racist and misogynistic white men. The newspaper board members and most of the police force aren’t exactly thrilled about her reporting the truth, particularly when it involves police brutality.
Having barely begun her new investigation into some eerily similar and grisly murders, Abbott discovers the perpetrators aren’t the usual suspects (hint: the police force’s usual suspects aren’t white). Instead, Abbott is soon face to face with a supernatural blast from the past.

Abbott tries to tell James, both a police sergeant and her ex-husband, about the shadows she sees on the second body.
They’re the same shadows that she saw on her husband, Samir, when he died. He called them the Umbra. Abbott seeks help from Sebastian, who tells her to stop running from her calling.
“Whether you accept it or not, Elena Abbott, you were born to wield the light. But there are those born to wield the shadow. Where your paths cross, blood will spill.”
Abbott is a chain smoker who enjoys her daily two glasses of brandy and drives a 1966 V8 Mustang. I got the feeling she’s not typically a huge believer in the whole ‘calling’ thing.

Later, Abbott has a conversation with Amelia, who has a message of her own. One that involves a gun. Amelia also happens to be romantically involved with Abbott but Abbott’s keeping this under wraps right now.

I was hit with so much information in the beginning of this graphic novel. I didn’t know how it would all fit together and I wasn’t sure I would care when it did. Then I met my first shadow monster and it was all over for me from that moment on; I needed to keep reading.
Much like Saga, which I’ve recently binged for my Hugo readathon, it seems like it’s not a good idea to become emotionally involved with any of the characters in Abbott. My two favourite characters didn’t survive this graphic novel but, although I’m preparing to harden my heart as we speak, I hadn’t grown to love them yet.

I’m giving this graphic novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ instead of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for two reasons: it took a while for the story to get its hooks into me and I don’t desperately need a sequel, even though I’m left with some unanswered questions and loose ends. Overall though, this was a very entertaining read. description
Profile Image for James DeSantis.
Author 18 books1,135 followers
September 7, 2019
Part of this book I love and the other part...not so much.

So Abbott is a news reporter. She's actually really badass in her approach, similar to characters like Jessica Jones, she takes no shit from anyone. So when she begins reporting things of police brutality she begins to make enemies. However, what is really chasing her? Demons? Half human half creature visions begin to haunt her. Can she escape? Will the demons kill her or will the people in her life try to hurt her more?

It's a dark tale. Some of it I love, mostly the stuff with the newspaper, the police brutality reports, the characters and side cast give a lot of emotion through them. All of that works. The supernatural stuff? The least interesting part. I get the idea behind it and what it represents but I hardly cared about it and the main "villain" is pretty poorly done.

Overall good, interesting, ballsy, but not always working for me. A 3 out of 5.
Profile Image for JT.
145 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2021
What a well written and illustrated book. We are following a very strong and willful woman who's not afraid to write the truth. Abbott is basically Lois Lane but with style! I enjoyed everything about this book. If you're looking for a kick ass driven story with great art and a strong female role this is your book.
Profile Image for chantel nouseforaname.
628 reviews328 followers
March 24, 2019
One of the best comic series I've read in a while. Beautiful artwork, a fantastic story about this badass female journalist who's battling evil forces. Set in the '70s. Written magnificently. Illustrations are amazing. Well worth the read. I read each installment at different points over the past two months, but this series on a whole is perfect. Get into it.
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,169 reviews1,143 followers
June 21, 2019
Uh, hello, Netflix? Amazon Prime? Anyone? This needs to be adapted to the screen. With its distinct noir flair with paranormal elements plus a strong female lead, it'll make a good TV show/miniseries. The story's a bit too simple and some bits pretty predictable yet the superb artwork and the sharp dialogues kept me glued.

Profile Image for Alexander Peterhans.
Author 2 books196 followers
August 12, 2019
First off, I applaud any effort to introduce more diversity into comics. It has been long overdue. So in that respect Abbott is a great accomplishment.

In characterisation, dialogue and plot, less so, I'm afraid. I know the dialogue is supposed to be 70s hardboiled noir, but I found most of it to be clunky, heavy-handed and much too on-the-nose. Did you know Abbott has a strict routine? It's only mentioned in just about every conversation she has. Her male editor at the paper she works for, tells her it's the way of things to have a man protect her. I mean, sure, people thought like that - it's another thing to have characters say it out loud as plainly like that.

I thought Abbott herself wasn't actually a very interesting character - she's only sporadically given a good, sharp line, most of the time she's a walking routine.

The evil she fights is also kind of dull and frequently borders on the ridiculous.

It makes me sad. I was so ready to really love this, and I can't.

(Read as five single issues.)
Profile Image for Rory Wilding.
661 reviews26 followers
July 21, 2020
2018 has been an exceptional year for Saladin Ahmed, who has written one of the best limited series for Marvel Comics with Black Bolt, which you can now get in two volumes. Although he still writes for Marvel with Exiles, Ahmed finds room for creator-owned work with Boom! Studios, where the writer steps into the world of 1970s pulp journalism with Abbott.

Please click here for my full review.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,565 reviews197 followers
November 28, 2018
A newspaper reporter who takes their own photos while reluctantly and ineptly fighting supernatural beings in the 1970s? I could not get Kolchak: The Night Stalker out of my head the whole time I was reading this. Kolchak is now a tough as nails African American female named Abbott in order to get a little of 1970s blaxploitation films into the mix too, but still enjoyable as ever.

There was a little awkwardness in the writing as all the characters and their situations are introduced, but the cliches and occasional clunkiness sort of play into the whole throwback homage.

I would like to see a second volume.
Profile Image for Kadi P.
797 reviews109 followers
September 10, 2021
This was a truly strange read. A mixture of mystery and supernatural, this comic had a generic plot, a weak mystery, and many unexplained supernatural elements.

This was either incompetently written or crafted with the intention of having sequels. Regardless, the comic doesn’t stand well on its own; neither the plot nor the protagonist, whose sole personality trait was raging alcoholism, could have made this messy mystery enjoyable.

The best part was the accurate portrayal of the racial injustices Black people faced in the 70s, and other than that there wasn’t much in this comic to stir up any emotion other than boredom.
Profile Image for Shannon Appelcline.
Author 22 books141 followers
February 4, 2019
This comic has an enthralling premise: 1973 Detroit, where a black newswoman is caught up in the occult. This could have been a great period piece, and there's some good work on racism and sexism in the '70s, just when things were beginning to change. This could have been a good noir piece, but it really doesn't do much for the genre. In fact, overall, Abbott is a bit slow and a bit unoriginal. Oh, there's some good content here, but not necessarily enough to leave you begging for more.
Profile Image for Devann.
2,443 reviews139 followers
June 18, 2019
actual rating: 3.5

This was a really interesting read and definitely a new spin on the mystery + supernatural element genre smash up. Abbott is a black bisexual female reporter in 1970s Detroit and has to deal with sexism and racism in the city as well as a string of murders with a supernatural twist. Overall I would have liked it to be a little bit longer, but I think there were a lot of excellent things in here and it's definitely a time, place, and protagonist that is not often focused on in horror or mystery comics.
Profile Image for Julie.
951 reviews248 followers
July 23, 2019
This pairs really well with Lovecraft Country, imo: a historical examination of racial injustice and prejudice seen through an occult lens, with shitty old white men trying to exploit disenfranchised minorities in America. Abbott is set in 1970s Detroit, with a black female journalist hunting a trail of mysterious ritualised killings -- and putting up with, yk, the usual misogyny and racism dogging her in a man's world. It's got touches of noir, with Elena Abbott as the weary brandy-sipping nightmare-plagued gumshoe picking up the cases that the police won't cover.

The villain is something of a cardboard cut-out, though, with a moustache-twirling white dude who wants... a return to mythic sword and sorcery? Ehhh. His motivations seemed pretty underdeveloped, and a lack of a good villain is one of my pet peeves.

Elena Abbott is great, though: a whip-smart widow and bisexual divorcee! a canny lady-journalist!! And Amelia Chee is the best, all slinky criminal femme fatale to Abbott's crime-solver. The newspaper excerpts/clippings abridging the issues and serving as narration are a cool technique, too.

Mostly, though, I've docked some stars because of the turn the occult storyline takes: Abbott being the ~*~Lightbringer~*~ just because she was born to be the lightbringer hits on another particular irritation of mine, because I really really don't like Chosen One narratives. Still, though, a solid enough volume. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Frédéric.
1,194 reviews48 followers
February 6, 2021
A cool 70’s feel, a good main character- a strong african-american female- an interesting and not too heavy-handed statement on being black (and female) in Detroit back then...

And a lousy villain.

It seems like Ahmed was more interested in the context than the plot. So the context and the characters are good when the plot is sadly underdeveloped. Maybe to be expanded in future volumes but it kind of feels like it was a constraint he had to deal with but was not particularly interested in. Or that he felt like he had to contextualize first. Either way there are holes all over the place, hopefully to be filled in later. Right now I’d still recommend the book more for the time period it’s set in than the story. But I wish to see more of Abbott.

Art is ok. Nothing to be ashamed of but nothing to write home about either.
Profile Image for Emmett.
289 reviews95 followers
April 21, 2021
4.5 rounded up.

This is a fantastic graphic novel. Great story, top-notch dialogue, cool characters, excellent artwork.

While I loved every minute of reading this, one thing that was missing for me was Regardless, still a graphic novel that is leagues above most!
Profile Image for RG.
3,090 reviews
October 16, 2018
I'd beem impressed with some of Ahmeds previous work. You can tell Ahmed really knows reporting and the city. I just didn't feel that interested in the overall plot. Journalist mixed up in some killings but involves supernatural elements. A slight noir nod but not at the level of Brubaker.
Profile Image for Elizabeth A.
1,853 reviews111 followers
July 19, 2019
Life in Detriot circa 1972 is already hard for many, and to make matters worse some grisly and frankly bizarre murders are suddenly happening. The thing is that the cops don't seem all that interested, but fear not, Elena Abbott, is going to get to the bottom of what's going on. Sure she has to deal with the expected racism and sexism, and if that wasn't enough to make her mad, there's a supernatural element at play, but no-one believes her. It's enough to make a girl chain smoke and drink her way to oblivion, but Elena has more grit than that.

I really liked the premise, the diversity on the page, and the unusual POV of this comic. The art is really good too, but the plot and dialog felt a tad clunky. Did I get all nostalgic about investigative journalism. Yes. Would I read the next volume? Yes I would. So there's that.
Profile Image for Kori ☾.
1,054 reviews21 followers
September 4, 2021
Abbott is so freaking cool. I don't know if I want to be her or be with her.

The 70's aesthetic was pleasing to look at while reading. The lingo, clothes, cars, and smoking everywhere because it hadn't been outlawed yet. I am here for it.

The fantasy aspect was a bit boring since the villain wasn't so scary.

Profile Image for Benji Glaab.
570 reviews49 followers
November 27, 2022

I really enjoyed this mini series. I've been reading so many long running titles recently it was refreshing to get a self contained resolution in one volume. The Abbott character is amazing in this book and shows a tough attitude that was required to start turning the tide of racism and injustices in the United States after the Peace Marches failed to do so.

I don't remember liking Ahmed Saladin's writing style this much before, but the dialog flows tremendously here and he lands all the Detroiter dialects and time period slangs well. Plot aside, this was definitely a strong point. I didn't really feel the occult story thread in here. I probably would have enjoyed more if it was a straight Crime drama / Reporter turned Sleuth story line. Regardless pretty enjoyable time.
Profile Image for Ryan.
85 reviews8 followers
December 22, 2018
Man, I got this for a graphic novel exchange for a book club, I'm in and now I'm going to go buy a new book because this loses all of its steam at the end.

Elena Abbott is a great character: bisexual black tabloid journalist fighting something supernatural from her past. The problem is that the book just moves too quickly. It never stops to establish. In one scene, we arrive at a hedge maze and immediately upon walking in, there's a chase scene. It's little opportunities to breathe like this that the book needs.

The illustrations are nice and broody and influenced by film noir (there's a real cigarette fetish in this), but it isn't enough to make up for the story's ultimate lacking.
Profile Image for Seymone.
270 reviews23 followers
February 6, 2019
Wow! Wow! Wow!
This was heavy, yet fantastical. I will definitely follow this comic series.
Profile Image for Meghna Mandava.
138 reviews
December 30, 2020
A fantasy in 1970s Detroit, nice. The ending was a little rushed but otherwise cool concept, nice flow and illustrations, has potential
Profile Image for Dakota Morgan.
2,460 reviews33 followers
January 21, 2019
You know a book starring a black, bi, female investigative journalist in 70s Detroit is going to have something to say about the rampant racism and sexism of that era. You might be surprised to learn, though, that Abbott has a lot more to say about vaguely defined supernatural mysticism. Too much to say about that, I'd argue.

Abbott is an intriguing book when it focuses on Elena Abbott and her journalistic adventures. Solving crimes, uncovering police brutality. This stuff is good! Sure, it's basically a CBS procedural, but it's thoughtful and well-written and all the secondary characters feel like real humans. Abbott is more of a head-scratcher when it reveals Elena is the "lightbringer" who must defeat some dude and the half-human monsters he's created. The supernatural elements are never fully explained - Elena appears to have some kind of Spidey-sense, but she kills the various beasts by flashing them with light, which it kinda seems like any old person could do.

Even if the hoodoo doesn't make much sense, Abbott is a largely enjoyable read. Saladin Ahmed tends to overwrite some scenes, but the pacing is excellent and the art has a nice throwback vibe. The book also acts as an excellent advertisement for smoking what with Elena smoking in every scene. Maybe don't read Abbott if you're trying to quit.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews

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