DC Black Label 2021
Written by Mattson Tomlin
Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Steve Wands
The battle against the impostor poisoning the Batman’s name heats up, while Detective Blair Wong makes a deadly decision! Is there any way back for Bruce Wayne’s war on crime after the damage the copycat has done? Or was that war already lost before it ever began?
For whatever reason I wasn’t expecting this to be a three issue series. I thought there would be more but these folks really manage to tie things up here exceptionally well. The reveal on who the imposter is wasn’t what I was expecting to see and yet I should have seen this coming from a long way off. That was definitely a highlight moment for me because I had been so fooled throughout the whole story. I am also incredibly impressed with the way that this issue is crammed full of information, action and drama and yet it’s done in a way that doesn’t feel overly crowded, glossed over or left out. Mattson does an excellent job with how he handles the oodles of things going on with the flow of the book.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceedingly well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a marvellous job in fleshing out the personalities that we see. The pacing is amazing and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story the mood, tone and feel of the story is in a state of constant flux.
I’m impressed with how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see these layers open up new avenues to be explored. His reveal to Choi and what he says to Leslie not to mention trying to clear up his reputation all this and more adds so much great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
Because this is a Batman story the mood, tone and feel is incredibly dark and foreboding and this works given the circumstances. The linework is impressive and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail within the work is so exciting to see. How we see backgrounds could be better because when we do see them they are exquisite and they enhance and expand the moments. How we see the composition within the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is marvellously rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a great understanding of how colour works.
I am rather enjoying these Black Label stories as they basically are the Vertigo of the current age. What if, DC style if you will and they tend to be dark and interesting in ways that allow the creators to really explore the characters in a way that we’d never normally see. The writing is spectacular and the characterisation is intense while the interiors are completely bespoke to how the story needs them to be.