Posted July 18, 2014 by Drew Bagay in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Black Market #1

Black Market #1 Cover.Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Art: Victor Santos
Colors: Adam Metcalfe
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Boom! Studios

After reading the first few pages of Black Market #1, I had a thought that this is going to be another POV story on superheroes, where the story is told through the eyes of an everyman. We are introduced to a down-on-his-luck protagonist named Ray with just about everything in his life going against him. He has a certain bitterness (based on his narration) towards superheroes and explains it clearly over the course of the comic.

Now I haven’t read the solicits for this title, nor do I have read anything about it at all, but Frank J. Barbiere brings out a unique twist towards the end that took me by surprise. When it comes to superheroes, nobody does it better than the Big Two. So it’s a bit refreshing when a comic like this adds something clever to the trope. In this world, superhero blood and DNA have significant medicinal effects, holding the cure to severe diseases like AIDS and cancer. That revelation suddenly makes the title of the comic book very fitting.

Barbiere develops Ray’s character pretty well giving the reader an apt look in his life. With the supporting characters getting introduced early on, the plot has more room to focus on the main character and the story. However, the flashbacks and present day can be quite confusing at times, as there are no indications whether the panels are from the past or present. Readers just have to figure it out for themselves it seems.

Although a little bit cartoony, Victor Santos‘ art eerily fits the comic book. His facial expressions are the best part about his art. They depict emotions that speak to the reader. Moreover, Santos’ panels are perfect. They flow through smoothly which other artists can’t seem to master.

Black Market #1 offers a new approach to the superhero genre. Given that the comics world is saturated with superheroes doing good deeds, this title gives it a new perspective that will certainly interest readers by letting us know that ordinary citizens can sometimes be the villains as well.

RATING: 3 / 5

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.