Advanced Review: Brian Buccellato's THE BLACK BAT #1

Posted by G-Man (29372 posts) - - Show Bio

THE BLACK BAT by Brian Buccellato and Ronan Cliquet is on sale in May 2013 from Dynamite Entertainment.

The Good

With a new comic universe being introduced, there's a lot that needs to be set up and established. In a sense, we're being dropped right in the middle of an existing world. From the very first page, you know exactly what you need to know in getting a feel for this city. It's a grim and dirty city, likely with corruption flowing underneath the surface. Then once you turn the page, you immediately know what sort of hero Black Bat is. He is on a mission and will not back away when the odds are stacked against him.

What is his motivation? Once it's established that he is apparently a costumed vigilante, we start to find out more about what drives him. Through a mix of narration and flashbacks in the midst of the action, we get the full story on Tony Quinn, a defense attorney willing to represent questionable clients in order to get paid. This is another factor that sets him apart from most heroes. He wasn't a perfect angel before his transformation into a hero. His standards may have been a little lower than some but he did still have some. Which is what lead to losing his eyes in a horrific way.

There is more to Black Bat than a victim seeking vengeance against those that wronged him. He's not working alone. After his disfigurement, he received some new eyes and training. His appearance is still a little jarring but this is what leads to the choosing of his new name. What makes the story even more compelling is we're not looking at a perfect new superhero. He's still figuring things out. Even the notion of being a "superhero" is questioned. That adds a bit of realism rather than make it feel like an average superhero comic.

The art and color fit perfectly for the story. There's a great mix of light and dark scenes that fits the action nicely. There's plenty of variation across the issue so it does feel as if the story isn't taking place in one singular moment. You can feel the scenes change and the time change from place to place.

The Bad

While Black Bat isn't necessarily a superhero, he is a costumed vigilante. He has and should have a secret identity to worry about. It could just be because this is his first "mission" but he almost seems a little careless about it. Too many people knowing his identity could change or guide the tone of the series. It reminds me a little of some comic book movies where the secret identities are often left unprotected. Allies are important so we'll have to see just who will know his secret.

Because this is the set up issue, it's hard to get a full grasp on what you can expect from this series. The vibe of the series could shift but we do get a good idea what we can expect from this issue.

The Verdict

We often go on about trying something new. I have heard the occasional plea or complaint about wanting to read a series but confused over continuity or a vast number of previous stories. THE BLACK BAT is a way to start from the beginning. The character may have existed since the 1930s but Brian Buccellato has revitalized the character. You don't need to know anything before reading this issue in order to be up to speed. This is one of those comics you're thankful exists in its own comic universe. The word "superhero" is used as if it's something that doesn't really exist here. The fact that the way Black Bat operates isn't necessarily black or white gives a nice feel to the story. This is a character that wants to get the job done and isn't going to let others try to break him in order to prevent the accomplishment of his mission. The story has that pulp feel that's rooted inside the character but Buccellato easily brings the character to modern times.

I highly recommend checking this series out in May. 4 out of 5 stars.

Staff
#1 Posted by Hit_Monkey (577 posts) - - Show Bio

This is going right on my pull list come may.

#2 Edited by RYU/BATMAN (388 posts) - - Show Bio

Thought this was Batman related, however I am willing to check it out. Reminds me of the Nemesis anti hero comic.

#3 Posted by That60sGuy (283 posts) - - Show Bio

I've already pre-ordered the Marcos Martin variant! Can't wait!

#4 Edited by Killer_of_trolls (1852 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't bare but ask if there's relation to the Black Cat anime.

#5 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (13818 posts) - - Show Bio

I am soooo going to get this.

#6 Posted by Planewalker (323 posts) - - Show Bio

Man I thought it was something about Cassandra Cain... in this case couldn't care less

#7 Posted by nerdork (3481 posts) - - Show Bio

I am definitely going to read this series. The Bat-Punisher...Im in!!!!

#8 Posted by SwampPing (117 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely going to pick this up!

#9 Edited by LarryDavis (143 posts) - - Show Bio

Whenever I see the title I think of that Urasawa manga, Billy Bat.

#10 Posted by NightFang (9632 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't bare but ask if there's relation to the Black Cat anime.

Why would there be any relation?

Online
#11 Posted by Super_SoldierXII (5913 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy crap comic book "creators" are extremely uninspired.

'Blackbat' huh? Even looks like Batman. Sure, they might 'hook' Batman fans on that alone, but damn ...

Is it really an industry so seeped in "been there done that" that the best we get from a new title is an obvious Batman spoof? Even if it's in name and look, if not content (I've yet to read an issue so I cannot comment on that), it's still bad enough IMHO.

#12 Posted by jsphsmth (1136 posts) - - Show Bio

Very excited about this, but was worried about Buccellato's writing. Good to see I don't need to worry. Cannot wait for this and Miss Fury by Rob Williams in April.

#13 Edited by kennybaese (999 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy crap comic book "creators" are extremely uninspired.

'Blackbat' huh? Even looks like Batman. Sure, they might 'hook' Batman fans on that alone, but damn ...

Is it really an industry so seeped in "been there done that" that the best we get from a new title is an obvious Batman spoof? Even if it's in name and look, if not content (I've yet to read an issue so I cannot comment on that), it's still bad enough IMHO.

I'm pretty sure the character is originally an old pulp hero that was featured in comics that first hit stands around the same time as Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics. I'm pretty sure that for a short time when they first appeared, both claimed that the other was a copy.

#14 Edited by longbowhunter (5829 posts) - - Show Bio

If you read up on the character you'd know that Black Bat is more closely associated with Harvey Dent/Two-Face and Daredevil.

#15 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

reminds me too much of batman...

#16 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

So psyched for this!

#17 Posted by TheJester (118 posts) - - Show Bio

For all the people saying he's a Barman ripoff, Black Bar appeared in a six issue miniseries in 1933 whereas Batman appeared in 1939, if anything, you should be calling Batman a ripoff. Thi is definitely goin on my pull list btw.

#18 Edited by ComicKing7 (122 posts) - - Show Bio

anyone else miss Cassandra Cain

#19 Posted by Smurfboy (466 posts) - - Show Bio

He does remind me a lot of Batman. I must be in minor group but I'm not interested in this. I will have to read the preview pages somewhere to get the idea where it's going.

#20 Posted by Eternal19 (2074 posts) - - Show Bio

They should've changed his costume and his name so that people dont just assume that he's batman with guns

#21 Edited by Birthright (142 posts) - - Show Bio

Remind me of Nemesis

#22 Posted by ForeverMan (104 posts) - - Show Bio

Black Daredevil!

#23 Edited by G-Man (29372 posts) - - Show Bio

For all the people saying he's a Barman ripoff, Black Bar appeared in a six issue miniseries in 1933 whereas Batman appeared in 1939, if anything, you should be calling Batman a ripoff. Thi is definitely goin on my pull list btw.

Staff
#24 Edited by mwanderson (6 posts) - - Show Bio

I won't state the obvious comparision, but what I will ask is: where is the originality in this idea? Surely, with the setting up of a new comic universe, we should be seeing fresh and interesting characters that pique our interest and grow our loyalty through fantastic storytelling and character development. To me, this is a wasted opportunity.

#25 Posted by jointron33 (1902 posts) - - Show Bio

Everyone commenting is an idiot

#26 Posted by Killer_of_trolls (1852 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man said:

@thejester said:

For all the people saying he's a Barman ripoff, Black Bar appeared in a six issue miniseries in 1933 whereas Batman appeared in 1939, if anything, you should be calling Batman a ripoff. Thi is definitely goin on my pull list btw.

QFT

Everyone commenting is an idiot

Wouldn't that include you?

@killer_of_trolls said:

I can't bare but ask if there's relation to the Black Cat anime.

Why would there be any relation?

I'm not the only one who asked here, so there has to be something to it. not only the name, but also the similarity in the weapon of choice.

#27 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27193 posts) - - Show Bio

Good god, I thought you pepole where comic fans? Clime out of your bat-box and read something for a change, BLACK BAT PREDATES BATMAN

#28 Edited by Catsnlynne (904 posts) - - Show Bio

I 'm glad this has nothing to do with Batman. We don't need anymore Batman comic books.

#29 Posted by turoksonofstone (13194 posts) - - Show Bio

Dynamite raiding the Pulps a-gain.

#30 Edited by mwanderson (6 posts) - - Show Bio

So says the man who posted a comment! Please don't be so insulting when some of us have bothered to be objectively critical rather than downright insulting.

#31 Posted by daredevil21134 (9029 posts) - - Show Bio

Good god, I thought you pepole where comic fans? Clime out of your bat-box and read something for a change, BLACK BAT PREDATES BATMAN

lol

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.