Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artwork: Tyler Jenkins
Colours: Hilary Jenkins
Lettering: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 20th February 2019
The latest issue of Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’ BLACK BADGE sees the Hunger Games-esque “Badge of Champions” come to an end, as well as delving a little deeper into the murky world of the White Badges and the relationship they have with the anarchist “Honor Society.”
Each passing issue only serves to flesh out Kindt and Jenkins million dollar “Black Ops Boy Scouts” premise even more, with the creators adding layer upon layer of depth to each of the four Black Badges and the dangerous, secretive world they inhabit. And while the previous issue focused heavily on Mitz and her own secret, this latest chapter sees Willy finally proving his value in one of the best sequences of the series so far.
Once again Jenkins’ artwork fits this series perfectly with a scratchy, fluid aesthetic and some brilliant layouts and expressive characters. Hilary Jenkins also deserves a ton of credit here for the way she steers the story with her colour work, shifting between palettes as the story moves from background info to flashbacks to present day action. Tyler also does a particularly strong job on the aforementioned sequence with Willy, adding a real sense of motion to impact as the ‘weak link’ finally proves his strength.
My one niggle is the fact that the resolution to the Jamboree ends up feeling slightly underwhelming, and that it actually happens off-camera between two scenes. Don’t get me wrong, the outcome and aftermath still have the required impact, but I’d personally have preferred to actually see the tense sprint to the finish line between the different Badge troops.
That minor criticism aside, it feels like this series is finally starting to pick up some real momentum, with Kindt throwing all manner of complex conspiracies – something of a calling card of his – into the mix. The final page suggests that the conflict between the Black Badges and the “Honor Society” has only just begun, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how this whole situation plays out in the issues to come. Another highly recommended issue of what has become a ‘must buy’ series.
If you want to find out more about BLACK BADGE, check out our interview with Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins by CLICKING HERE.