Black Mask Studios 2015
Written by Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Illustrated by Josh Hood
Coloured by Tyler Boss
You know what the sign of a great story is? I don’t mean good I mean great, it’s one that even a half hour after you’ve read it it still sticks with you. There is this inexplicable draw about this book and the way it’s being told that resonates with the readership. The story seems to just creep up on you and gets under your skin and these two characters whom we’ve been getting to know keep us glued to the page.
This issue really kick things up a notch too. When we see Madison feel guilty about how she left home and what she does about it the mystery behind and who she is really deepens. What her father does and how her mother reacts tells the story better than I could ever have imagined.
Meanwhile Duncan is having his own moment of crisis. After the phone call it seems Madison is finally putting the moves on him but not everything is at it appears. What happens and his own powers of observation are nicely portrayed. I have to say Josh does a magnificent job with the teasing of Duncan’s naked body, personally that hairless ass would’ve been nice to see. After a nice amount of teasing we do get to see peen too and I gotta admit I was loving that. Finally people who aren’t afraid of turning the standard tables of solely showing women.
Josh’s work here has always been incredibly and a main draw for the series but this just raised his status in my eyes. Now I’ve found a new artist to follow and praise and hopefully end up with a blank cover done by. Seriously his work is good and it really does seem like this is his break-out moment. From start to finish he brings surprises to the story visually that just makes everything seem more spectacular.
We meet a slew of new characters this issue as well. Who are the good guys and who aren’t remains to be seen. Suffice it to say that there are so many new angles to the story that are emerging and turning a simple teenage runaway story into so much more. Now suddenly there’s a world out there full of people like they are. While i’m still waiting for Duncan to show us how his powers, if he has them, work it’s still nice to know that there are others who have come out of the woodwork. From the way the boys are telling this story it’s easy to picture a few abstracts about them but until we learn about both factions you can’t be certain.
That uncertainty is what really drives things here. So much confusion, so much aggression and so much teenage doubt that we learn as they do about everything means we’re no better informed. What a freakin fantastic way to tell a story. Keeping the reader in the dark and having them experience what the characters do as they do yeah it’s kind of epic. Granted the opening showed us more but that’s okay it wasn’t enough to skew your opinion too far one way or the other.
Black Mask really has just shown the comics industry they have some catching up to do.