DC Black Label 2020
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Jorge Fornes
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
What’s the connection between an aging comic book artist and Rorschach? That’s the question the detective investigating the attempted assassination of a presidential candidate must answer. Wil Myerson, a reclusive artist known for his pirate comics, went from drawing the adventures of Pontius Pirate and the Citizen to working with a mysterious young woman hellbent on making sense of a post-Watchmen world. Somewhere in the life of Wil Myerson lies the key to learning more about Rorschach.
This is why I love Tom King and the work that he does. His work on Omega Men, Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures this is where he excels and I couldn’t be any happier about it. This is so intelligently written as well as incredibly intriguing as we see and learn about everyone through the eyes of our mysterious detective. The way his mind works is extraordinary and if I didn’t know better I’d say he was Vic Sage in how he’s able to walk the walk and put things into a certain perspective. Even if it isn’t this is definitely someone I want to see more of. This is what comics should be like in my humble opinion, ya know when Detective Comics used to have a detective instead of an extension of well ya know.
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 is presented exceptionally well. Just the way that we see the walk through makes you feel like you are a part of the story and it’s so incredibly rare to be so immersed into a story and block out the world around you. The character development is intriguing to me because the detective is smart, intelligent and has a keen mind but we know little about him personally or his personality. Yet he’s able to bring those he encounters to life for us beautifully so he really has this whole enigma quality to him. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the events and actions it takes the reader on a unique journey of the heartstrings.
The interiors here are absolutely bloody brilliant! The linework we see and how the varying weights are being utilised so that we get the most mind blowing attention to detail! The way we see backgrounds being utilised throughout just really take the cake. The wallpaper alone in that building are seriously feels like an ocular puzzle at times. The way we see depth perception, this sense of scale as well as the overall size and scope of the story is really rather quite the feat. the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is sublime! I love how we see the various hues and tones within the colours utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work. Plus the choices that are made and how the wallpaper appears depending on when we see them it just adds so much character.
This is the DC I expect to see and want to see so much more of. Let Tom King do whatever he wants to with any characters he chooses and let him rule the stands through the Black Label because this is some of if not the finest storytelling we are currently seeing. Just the way that we see this level and quality of storytelling makes my heart sing like a canary.