Blackbox Comics 2020
Written by Ramel Hill
Illustrated by Federico Sabbatini
Coloured by Andrea Celestini
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
The comedic duo of Santino Lugo and Bryan Clay are unsuspecting strangers who are forced to figure out how they ended up with super powers. They continue to unravel the mystery of a criminal underworld in the heart in New York City.
Oh I like this more and more as I read through it a couple of times. For those of you who were such fans of the Blue & Gold team over in JLI you will absolutely enjoy this! I mean the writing is super solid and the jokes are actually funny and while at times it can be a bit sophomoric in nature, representative of American humour, it does fit with how we see the boys. Plus the premise of what we see and the organisation that is behind how they got their powers all ties phenomenally well here. Ramel has some serious writing chops and so far this has been incredibly consistent if not a tad predictable.
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. I like the addition of the new characters and how they are introduced adding another layer of depth to the story. There is a very natural kind vibe that comes through on the pages and while we don’t really see the boys in their “downtime” when they are together things tend to work out. More through luck than any actual skill but that’s okay the more they play the part the more they become the part. The character development that we see is really rather well done. How we see the characters act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter really do wonders to help keep them growing and evolving. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and more of the inhabitants of their world it’s easy to see just how well everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
I really think this is well structured and the layering within the story keeps expanding the book. I also appreciate the way that these new characters are introduced so that we are not bombarded with them nor does it feel as if their introduction is forced upon us. Instead there is a very natural progression and it makes reading this more enjoyable.
I like the interiors here. Their linework is good, strong and has some nice weight variations to them that helps bring out the detail work that we see. I like the amount of time spent on the backgrounds as well. They add more the mood, tone and feel as they enhance the moments as well as bring us some great depth perception, a sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope. Since we’re seeing a man who shrinks they are so important to demonstrate his own power and to see it done like this here is pretty darn fabulous. I would like to see more work on faces here, the further away they are the less defined they become and it almost feels like a lack of confidence in the work. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this remarkable eye for storytelling. The colour work is incredibly solid. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is rendered beautifully.
This is a strongly told story that utilises the buddy comedy to create one of the most interesting and unique dynamics we are seeing in comics today. This is why I keep telling you all that you should be looking at books that come out from these small indie publishing houses. Do yourself a favour and have your shop or subscription service order this one for ya and see if you don’t agree with me.