The Black Beetle: No Way Out
Pulp hero pulls no punches
'All I can think about is who got to them before I did while I should really be worrying about freefalling from an eighteen story building. Oh, well...'
Eisner Award-winning artist, Francesco Francavella’s creator owned title pulls no punches when it comes to introducing his pulp hero. The less educated are going to make inevitable comparisons to Batman but America’s classic pulp heroes were, as with most iconic characters, a result of their time. I have yet to read Garth Ennis’ rendition of The Shadow and latest series of The Spider – both vintage pulp heroes that predate The Batman and the subsequent American mythos that followed – with these titles in mind, The Black Beetle is much more than a homage; dripping in lavish inks that capture the noir signatures as effortless as the narration. Colt City holds our eponymous hero in its bowels and during the first issue reveals very little of the cityscape, instead focusing on the set up as our super sleuth investigates an explosion that has killed a number of notorious criminals. The script delivers a delicious narration and sparse dialogue while the atmosphere and mood of the dark alleyways and streets are held together through superb use of layouts and splash pages that build towards a gripping climax centred around a prison. This is much more than a throwaway tale – there is a passion and thirst for the source material that shows a creator building a world around what he knows – and Francavella lives and breathes the smoke and bullets.
For more information visit Francesco Francavella’s official blog over at The Black Beetle.
This post was first published on February 22nd 2013.