Blackbox Comics 2021
Written by Brian Hawkins
Pencilled by Raffaela Forte
Inked by Sara Ianniello
Coloured by Carolina Pontes
Lettered by Justin Birch
Devlynn battles the Horseman of Death for her soul and the lives of others.
I am such a fan of this book. There is something about the underdog who wishes to atone for what they’ve done that makes us root for them. Taking a bad situation and trying to make the best out of it and flipping the script so completely. I love what Brian does with the writing of this story and how he gets the reader so involved and invested in her life, her story and what she’s trying to do. I also really like the fact that Devlynn isn’t this seasoned vigilante that gets out of every situation and that just like any one of us she’s vulnerable to her mistakes and human emotions. It is more real than you could possibly imagine it being which to me is a huge part of the appeal to the overall enjoyment of the book. I keep telling you folks that small/indie press companies have some of the strongest, more interesting books on stands right now and you need to step outside that box you are in and check this out.
I am enjoying 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 is presented exceptionally well. The character development we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter. Plus seeing how the voice, inner demon Devlynn shares herself with, and this kind conversational moments are exceptionally well rendered. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story the more complex and interesting it becomes.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I love what these layers do, they open up new avenues as well as explore those that have already opened so we get this great depth, dimension and complexity added to the story. It is so important that we get that feeling without it feeling obvious and Brian manages this beautifully. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is extremely well achieved.
The interiors here are marvellous and I love that each issue they’ve seemed to get tighter and better in terms of cohesiveness and comfortability with doing a monthly book. The linework is fantastic and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail in the work we see is utterly fabulous. How we see the composition within the panels bringing out the depth perception and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is incredibly well rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show 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 eye for how colour works. I love the metallics we see within the pages and just the application techniques themselves are amazingly well done.
From concept through its execution what this creative team has done is really some darn fine work. They’ve made Devlynn someone not to be feared but to root for, empathise with as we all have our inner demons we fight on the daily which puts her into that relatable category. With some solid writing and dynamic characterisation alongside these beautiful interiors this book takes on a life of its own. Blackbox is small but mighty and you need to be putting them into your regular reading list.