Greetings everyone! Fresh off my review of The Movement #1, I get to discuss a comic that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. While having nothing to do with Masks or the rest of the pulp universe (at this point), Brian Buccellato sets the tone for a high stakes story with an involving character. Before I get ahead of myself, let me discuss what I liked.
1. It’s a modern day pulp hero. While pulp’s have their roots, and arguably, are at their best in the past, this comic is an example of how well pulp heroes work in today’s world.
2. Ronan Cliquet shows off some real talent. Not only doing a great job with the moody dark feel of the book, but adding some innovative panel designs to boot.
3. It screams pulp. And I love me my pulps.
Rating before reading: 6
Rating after reading: 7
This is a solid first issue and does quite a bit to hook readers into this series. Buccellato does a brilliant job with setting the mood and feeling. Having a character named Black Bat who runs around and fights crime sounds a bit like another dark and brooding hero, but Buccellato does a great job at “drawing the line” between similarities. In fact, fighting crime and dressing in black is about the only thing they share.
Buccellato’s complete update, from origin to powers of Black Bat is not only refreshing, but a needed breathe of life into a pulp classic. His characterization holds nothing back, and we get a feel for what this modern Black Bat is about.
To top all this off, it just screams pulp. He fights the bad guys, does good, and is not afraid to step on a few toes or cross a few lines. By making this comic an introduction to the character, Buccellato can not only build a fabulous story and world around him, but work hard at continuing his brilliant character work.
While I will admit I’m normally dead opposed to the American Monomyth (redemptive heroes using extreme force and violence to “redeem” themselves all in the name of “good” or “justice”), I can’t complain here. While this comic screams Monomyth, it is downright satisfying. It feels right. The excessive violence, the motivation, and more all indicate stereotypical monomythic interpretation. However, for some reason that I can’t explain, it fits perfect her. It makes the book, and provides multiple moments in which I found myself actively cheering. It caught me off guard, and I really like it.
Black Bat #1 is a brilliant take on a pulp classic, giving the character a much needed update was just icing on the cake. I can’t wait for more from this series, and I can’t wait to see what both Buccellato and Cliquet bring to the table in the future.
Until the next time,