Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Comic Book Misfits - Patrick Challis and Constantinos Barbatsis Review 'The Black Bat' Issue 1

Review By Patrick Challis and Constantinos Barbatsis

Written By Brian Buccellato
Art By Ronan Cliquet
Cover By J. Scott Campbell

Published By Dynamite Comics

Superhero, Action, Thriller 


In our first installment of Comic Book Misfits, myself and Constantinos Barbatsis take a look at one of the newest offerings from Dynamite Comics.  The Black Bat, issue one!


Tony Quinn, a crooked lawyer trying to make good on past wrongs by taking to the streets as the Black Bat, a masked vigilante who will stop at nothing to bring justice to an unjust world!

Review 1 - Constantinos Barbatsis

From the very first page I got a good feeling about this comic! The atmosphere the coloring and the monologue of the Black Bat in this page gave me the impression that it would be a cool comic read! It reminded me of the very first time I read Daredevil by Miller as a kid, I’m not comparing them I’m just saying that I got a feeling of a dark noir character in a corrupt city fighting for justice and that always thrills me!!! Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

Brian Buccelato succeeds on giving a good introduction in issue #1 of who Black Bat is what drives him and how he deals with situations.  As Black Bat sets on his mission to solve the policemen kidnapping mystery  we continuously are given insight of his thoughts on who he was and why he decided to be a vigilante! We see how he regrets about his choices of crossing the line putting his needs and well being over morality!  His name Black Bat may be pulp and not intimidating but the way he acts and schemes are, he is ruthless when he needs to be! This doesn’t make him a black and white character he is a gray one being good, using people, helping and harming them all in the name of justice and defeating corruption!  Also his condition of having “bat eyes” troubles him but he will use his condition to redeem his wrong choices in his previous life!

This show’s a character which has been developed and well thought on how to make him all the more interesting.

Brian Buccelato spins a story in this issue with many layers! He doesn’t only introduce the Black Bat he sets the stage on who the villains are and on who are going to manipulate him Here also lays what troubled me in this issue, as a newbie to the character I didn’t get enough info on how and when he got his condition and what was his job before the accident! Other than that it was a good story with potential for even better ones!

Now the art is interesting because Mat Lopes for each page uses specific two or three colors and their tones for the whole page setting the atmosphere in a good way! Ronan Clique also adds to the atmosphere with his heavy inking and his realistic style with which he draws. Both artists are doing a great job in giving a noir atmosphere for this comic which I really like!

All in all this was a good first issue and a promising one for more dark, moody, detective and noir stories in the future…definitely check it out!

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall 8/10

Review 2 - Patrick Challis

I have to admit that I fully agree with my colleague there in that there is something strangely exciting and thrilling about getting a noir style thriller involving a vigilante kicking ass and taking names.

Thanks to those folks at Dynamite Comics there's been a real resurgence in that style of story thanks to titles such as 'The Spider' and 'The Green Hornet' but does this, their newest, live up to those lofty standards?

Yes it most definitely does.  In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that at the moment Dynamite seems to be able to do no wrong in the noir genre.

Bucchero, busy tearing it up over at DC with 'The Flash', has crafted  a positively superb first issue for The Black Bat in which he introduces the character brilliantly but leaves enough out for the character to be mysterious to such a degree that it hooks the reader right in.

I've read in some reviews that the story in this issue seems muddled and confused but to me, I think that's completely wrong.  I honestly don't think it's muddled at all.  In fact, I liked the simple fact that the story  itself was fast paced and easy to follow but with enough pointers to make you want to buy issue two to see what exactly is going on.

The Black Bat character itself, while apparently an inspiration for the Daredevil character, does actually remind me of the Miller era of Daredevil yet manages to forge out his own personality and character.  It takes a strong writer to make that happen and that's exactly who we have got here in the shape of Buccellato.

Art wise, the story has a superb cinematic feel thanks to the superb renderings by Cliquet and the coloring by Mat Lopes.  It's almost as if you are seeing a classic hard boiled detective story mixed in with a bit of Batman come to life all while maintaining it's own style.  Positively superb and some of the best art I've seen in the 'pulp' revival over at Dynamite.

All in all, this is an absolutely superb title and one well worth picking up, which is exactly what this noir fan here will be doing.  Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Story 4/5
Art 4.5/5
Overall 8.5/10

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