Thursday, December 15, 2016

Black #1-3

A quick breakdown of facts: Black started out as a Kickstarter before getting picked up by Black Mask Studios. They raised almost 4 times what they wanted in the original Kickstarter which gave them a grand total of 91thousand dollars... that's pretty impressive.  So the story concept, well a world where people mutate with superpowers...except that only black people have superpowers. The story opens with a police shooting. An over zealous white cop shoots three young black teens.

The artwork is pretty awesome for me. I love black and white comics. Think like... the black and white art of The Walking Dead books- with similarly realistic representations.

One of the things that sort of irked me right away is a little continuity problem in Issue 1. We've got this female cop relaying the extraordinary events she saw on a particular day so one would assume you would only be viewing what that cop personally witnessed. Sadly that isn't what happens. At one point they divert from this narrative and show us a snippet of what ONLY our young fugitive is privy to.  After that, the original narrative is abandoned for the remainder of issue 1 and the story continues as a third person omnipotent narrative which begs the question: why did they bother with the opening narrative at all. WOW I said narrative too many times. Anyway, lets be honest, writers can do whatever the hell they want, this is just a personal pet peeve for me so... subjective?

By issue two we're seeing the officer again and our fugitive is picked up by.. oh boy, a secret underground operative! I didn't see that coming... wait I completely did, I just really hoped for something else. However less expected (WARNING: Mild Spoiler) is that the FBI is not only trying to catch these super powered black people but killing any witnesses to their powers.. which includes a lot of white people.

Although the concept of super powers is by no means unique, as well as an underground operation to train said super-powered people, the plot being centered around race allows writers to address important political, and racial issues that aren't often addressed in comics. Of course, I can't really get into any of that without spoiling the story... but its there (as well as a transgendered person who make a brief appearance... hopefully she has more of a role in the future).  Oh and fun fact about issue 2, one of the characters ends up in a sweet restorative tank that looks exactly like the one Luke is submerged into in The Empire Strikes Back.

With the emphasis on race in the books, this makes this story controversial and well, pretty honest. I like it.


Issues 1-3 are currently available at a comic book store near you!