Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon
Artist: Josh Hood
Release Date: 6th May, 2015
It always mildly amuses me – whilst at the same time feeling old as hell – that stories set in the 80’s can now officially be referred to as ‘period pieces’. It’s officially the go-to era for modern-ish stories where you don’t really want the omniscience of modern tech from getting in the way of spinning a good yarn. And holy crap, is this a good yarn.
After branding issue #1 with the coveted 5/5, we had high hopes for this second issue, and it quite simply does not disappoint.
With our heroes Duncan and Maddie now the bona fide Bonnie and Clyde of the piece, and deciding to go on the lam, they first need to stop off at Maddie’s, because she’ll be damn if she’s fleeing the town without something to wear. To stop myself from spoiling it further, it’ll be safer to simply say that the story is picking up a heck of a lot of steam, with at least two hugely intriguing character twists that will have the more experience story-readers’ ‘uh-oh’ alarms blaring in their heads.
The real highlight in the story department is Rosenberg and Kindlon’s dialogue – whilst it’s authenticity is perhaps a touch questionable in places, it nonetheless is consistently entertaining, cracking whip-like as it meshes perfectly with the intricate layouts.
The rest of the artwork is excellent – Hood has an exceptional grasp of anatomy, and finely detailed ink-work really showcases his eye for form and perspective. Scruti’s colour-work really makes it pop off the page too, and as said, the layouts gel with the dialogue in such a way that it keeps more speech-heavy scenes from ever feeling like they’re about to start dragging. Budding creators take heed – this is how you mesh dialogue and artwork without drowning your audience in text.
The series as a whole raises the age-old question of ‘does great responsibility come automatically with great power?’ – recalling Mark Millar’s work, as well as some of the more cynical super-’hero’ flicks of late, but filtered through a lovely 80’s vibe. Scintillating dialgoue, t’r’ific art and an genuinely interesting story all combine to continue Black Mask’s run of exceptional books.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24