Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Story: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss, Thomas Mauer (Letters)
Release Date: 29th June 2016
After that absolute ace of a first issue – and seriously, Kieran’s assessment couldn’t be more spot-on: it’s just a wonderful read, and will have you laughing out loud near-constantly – in which we followed the escapades of four tweens who were finding themselves increasingly caught up in potentially criminal behaviour, it was anyone’s guess quite how this second issue would pan out. The ending of that first book was precisely gauged to emulate – and in many ways, completed outdo – J.J. Abrams’ old mystery box trope.
And whilst it remains to be seen precisely whether or not the mysterious trappings of this particular kids-in-danger story will have a more compelling core than Abrams’ own attempt at the genre – with Super 8’s alien that sprung out of the box ultimately a little dissatisfying – but all the visible signs at this stage do point to something rather more intriguing, involving a complicated web of potential criminal histories that’s snagging the poor kids in its tanlges.
Rosenberg’s four protagonists and their banter are still the aspect of the story that refuses to release your lapels – whilst they do feel a little too snappy to be a true representation of kids in their tweens, it’s easy to forgive this particular narrative trope when it feels as authentic as this. It’s a glorious fusion of dialogue that both flows freely, yet reeks of craftsmanship, with a gorgeous art-style from Tyler Boss that possesses the exact level of realism required to make the story explode off the page.
If you were down with the Goonies, and Abrams’ sickly imitator, you’ll absolutely love this series – besides everything else that’s great about it (the art, the setting, the deepening sense of mystery), there’s just a real sense of joy to be had as you read it, a deep-seated vein of precisely pitched humour that’s balanced perfectly with the drama of the story. You care about these characters, and it’s because their endearing nature, purely and simply, will make you smile, if not outright laugh. Black Mask have once again put out an absolute belter of a series, and I can only echo Kieran: pick this series up. You will not regret it.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24