Review: Black Beetle #1

Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla has arrived. Having already made waves in comic book community swamped with talent, this creator is bound to surface and raise his game to all-new heights thanks to his Black Beetle #1 which pays homage to a genre that influenced and formed the modern culture of comic books.

The Black Beetle is an urban myth at its finest. Francavilla knows his stuff. He has interwoven his love letter to the genre with the best elements and traditions of mystery, action-adventure, and vigilante super heroics. More than that, this book is unadulterated pulp fiction deeply rooted in noir storytelling conventions.

Made up of the very building blocks that have evolved into what the superhero genre is today, this series ultimately showcases the nostalgic energy and excitement of old movie serials. Francavilla’s visual aesthetics is an exhilarating experience in confident visual storytelling.

As writer, Francavilla captures the right words to take us back to the language of yesteryear. The voices are reflective of the popular memory of a long gone era. And as an artist, the visuals not only push the story forward, they sell the story and the world of his creation. He understands how to use color and shadow to evoke thoughts and emotions, as well as conceal and/or reveal the right amount of story information.

This is a quality production from Dark Horse. Executed by next big name of the medium, this comic book is sure to garner a faithful following. It’s still early, but this will no doubt be in the running for one of the top books of this New Year.

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