Monday, February 18, 2013

Review - The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2

The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2
Intrigue! Detective work! Nazi Werewolves! All that and more make quality books and Dark Horse made sure to include all in The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2, the latest issue of the smash mini-series that proves even jetpacks need modifications.

The issue is written and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla.

Black Beetle continues his investigation of a mysterious mass murder that wiped out Colt City's mob bosses. Of course, his investigation necessitates a daring escape on quite a couple occasions. The second occasion is the one that bears paying attention to, as it introduces both Black Beetle and the reader to Labyrinto, an eerie villain who may have something to do with it all. That involvement gives Black Beetle the chance to put on his dancing shoes and do some work on the street.

For an issue that's 90% narration, Francavilla does an exceptional job making sure both the character of Black Beetle continues to be explored and that the story keeps progressing. The Beetle takes the reader through some of his gadgets and investigative process, the combination of both working in concert to help you appreciate his style that much more. He's an old-school character with an appreciation of modernizing and being creative when necessary, a pairing of attributes that make Black Beetle a formidable foe or ally.

Francavilla's art is up to the task of supporting his writing. Black Beetle's look is gritty and weathered, showing a detective who's been through the ringer once or twice before and isn't afraid to go through again if need be. The color palette used is pretty dark and ominous throughout, as anything brighter would belie the seriousness of his investigation. Labyrinto gets the award for being illustrated with the most creep factor, as he's someone who will be a thorn in Beetle's side and definitely shows a desire to be equally as focused on screwing with his mind.

Plain and simple, The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2 is a solid, quality book that blends a strong narrative with focused art. As a main character, Black Beetle is rife with savvy and observational skills, giving the reader a glimpse at what a genius at work looks like. The second issue continues what is a really fascinating detective book with a lot of panache.

The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2 is available now.

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