While I absolutely loved the first issue of this series, I wasn’t anticipating this comic as much as I was anticipating this other weeks releases. Thus it lingered at the bottom of my stack as I read all the ones I loved and was excited about. Then came time for me to read this comic. I was curious to see how this issue stacked up to the surprisingly powerful first issue. So here is what I liked about this second issue.
1. Ronan Cliquet is easily one of the best artists in Dynamite’s stable. I would absolutely love to see his art else where. He has been dynamic, and continues his vibrant craft with this series.
2. We learn more about Quinn’s origin. And it’s quite fascinating.
3. The biggest surprise and change from the first issue. He’s not a killer.
Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 9
Yup. You read that right, the second issue of this series is almost perfect. It continues to deliver a moving story with vibrant art. The modern take on this pulp hero continues to prove not only visually beautiful, but a powerful narrative as well. This issue runs threads both past and present story lines and not only continues the story that Buccellato built, but begins to unravel the mystery behind Quinn’s origin.
Now, if you’ll recall from my review of the first issue (or read at the link above) the thing I loved the most about Black Bat was surprising. I was surprised that I gleefully embraced the American Monomyth in practice. In a way that I never have before, and most likely never will again. But what Buccellato did with this issue was reverse that with the simple line “I’m not a killer”. Black Bat now serves as an academic anomaly. While his quest for redemption requires violence, Tony Quinn stands his ground and tries to do the right thing. He has killed before (issue one), but did not in this issue. Stopping a drug bust without killing anyone. This is not only unique, but academically interesting. This is the first instance in which a character follows the Monomyth to the letter, but ignores the gleeful killing that comes hand in hand with it. I applaud Buccellato for making a pulp hero that can not only distinguish between self defense and gleeful violence, but also tell a story about a modern hero that can draw the line between right and wrong.
Buccellato, Cliquet and Dynamite have done it again. Made me fall head over heels for their story once again. I am blown away by the 180 the character took, and by the overall feel and tone of this story. This is one gem of a book, and deserves not only a read but demands it. While I normally give comics three issues to woo me, this comic has me at 2.
Until the next time, long live the pulps!