Continuing our look at some recent books you could buy as a gift for someone or yourself, chances are you might already own this one. If you've been reading comics lately, you know who Francesco Francavilla is. It's pretty much guaranteed that if his art is involved, we here at Comic Vine are going to automatically love it. Taking on the writing reigns, Francavilla recently released THE BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT through Dark Horse.
Francavilla delivered a five-issue series (four issues plus a zero issue) featuring hard-hitting pulp action with art that will take your breath away. The Black Beetle was created by Francavilla and in this first story, we're discovering who he is and what he's capable of.
There's not a lot known about the character. That's just one of the cool things about him. As the story begins, the mystery is already underway. Francavilla's art immediately draws you into the story. When Black Beetle shows up, he's ready for action.
As a new character, there aren't any pre-existing notions or impressions you'll have on the character. This allows you to sit back and enjoy the show. You'll be hooked as there's no telling what our lead character is going to do next. This is a rare thing in comics as most of the characters we follow have existed for years or decades.
With that idea, Francavilla introduces us to Colt City. Black Beetle may think he has a handle on what's going on in his city but he soon finds out there's a bigger plot going on.
Partly due to the time period, Black Beetle is a credible hero. He's not one of those untouchable characters that can do anything. Black Beetle is a formidable hero but he's not invulnerable. He can take a beating but that doesn't mean he won't get injured.
As for the action, Francavilla's art and colors are perfect for the story. Not only does he tell the story with the dialogue but the art dances off the pages. There's a great variety in the action as well. There may be big explosions but other times it's good old fashion fist-to-the-face fun.
Along with collecting the five issues, there's plenty of sketch pages and behind the scenes bonus features. The book contains 152 pages and it's a beautiful hardcover with a retail price of $19.99. That means you could probably find it cheaper.
It should go without saying, if you've seen Francesco Francavilla's art and haven't read this series, you owe it to yourself to check this out. If you're hungering for a great pulp story with phenomenal art, get a copy of this book. It's a fun self-contained story and a great introduction to a new comic book universe. Add it to your wish list. If you already own it, buy it for a friend.
The only question is, when can we get a sequel?