Drums of the Dead

Drums of the Dead
Written by Brian McDonald
Illustrated by Derek Thompson
Colored by James Sinclair
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Edited by Scott Allie
Originally Published in Abe Sapien: Drums of the Dead
Date Published March 1998
Trade Paperback B.P.R.D. – Volume 1: Hollow Earth & Other Stories
Omnibus Edition B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs – Volume 1

Abe Sapien confronts haunted seas on the Atlantic.

Publication HistoryEdit

Drums of the Dead was originally published as a one shot comic in March 1998. The issue featured the back-up Hellboy story Heads. Drums of the Dead was the first story in the Hellboy universe to not feature the character Hellboy. It was also the first story to not feature Mignola as writer or artist. In January 2003, the story was collected in the trade paperback B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth & Other Stories.


While on a shipping vessel, a man is overcome by the sound of beating drums, stabs his crew mate and jumps over board to be eaten by sharks. The men on board act as though this has happened before.

Tom Manning sends Abe Sapien and Agent Garrett Omatta to investigate. While on the ship Omatta becomes possessed and transforms into a monster. Abe is able to calm him down, but not before being stabbed in the leg. Omatta returns to regular human form. Based on clues sensed by Omatta, Abe figures out that the possession is the result of the souls of African slaves thrown overboard during the middle passage. Abe dives into the ocean, gathers up the bones of the dead slaves, and lays them to rest on the African coast.

Story ChronologyEdit

The story takes place in 1993. While the date is never given in the story itself, Manning mentions that Abe fought a "lake monster in British Columbia last year." In the epilogue of Box Full of Evil Hellboy mentions the event, and a footnote states it occurred in 1992.

Abe Sapien Publication Order
Preceded by
Drums of the Dead
Followed by
Abe Sapien versus Science
B.P.R.D. Trade Paperback Order
B.P.R.D. – Volume 1: Hollow Earth & Other Stories
Preceded by
Abe Sapien versus Science
Drums of the Dead
Followed by