By Leroy Douresseaux
February 16, 2013 - 15:32
|The Black Beetle #2 cover image|
“No Way Out” (Part 2 of 4)
The Black Beetle is a comic book character created by Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla. Blending the aesthetics of pulp fiction, mystery, noir, and the superhero, the Black Beetle is a super-heroic sleuth, and his base of operations is Colt City, a classic pulp and noir-type urban landscape.
The Black Beetle’s new comic book series finds the hero attempting to infiltrate a meeting of Colt City’s two crime families, the Galazzos and the Fierros. Shortly after he arrives at the site of the meeting, the place goes up in a tremendous explosion – killing everyone inside. One of Don Pasquale Galazzo’s nephews, Constantino, is still living and is holed up in The Fort, an Alcatraz-like prison. The Black Beetle arrives at The Fort in time to witness Constantino’s murder.
As The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2 opens, our hero is fighting not to become the newest resident at The Fort. Then, it becomes a fight for his life. Freedom and a return to Colt City mean a return to the bomb site. That is where the Black Beetle is brought face to face with a wily adversary, the enigmatic Labyrinto.
THE LOWDOWN: It is good when a comic book series proves itself not to be a fluke after a dynamite debut issue. How does a creator prove that? Francesco Francavilla does so by creating a dynamite second issue.
Comic books are a visual, or more specifically graphics-based, medium, and Francavilla composes The Black Beetle with striking graphics and arresting static images. Page layout, panel design, color, lettering, and captions combine to create a visual flow that moves, hops, skips, and boogies to a pulpy Film-Noir beat.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for pure pop comics will find it in The Black Beetle: No Way Out.
Rating: 9.5 /10