Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.
This week we have a trio of new books to review for you, including one of our most anticipated New Number Ones of the month. We have Black Cloak #2 and Local Man #1 from Image Comics and Bulls of Beacon Hill #2 from AfterShock Comics.
You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on February 22, 2023. We think they are all excellent.
Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for February are here.
Black Cloak #2
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Meredith McClaren
Colors by McClaren
Letters by Becca Carey
Cover by McClaren
Murdered prince. Hungry mermaids. Vengeful queen. Plentiful suspects. Dead assassin. Dying Black Cloak. So far this case is going to the devils. And it’s super great that absolutely everything is on the line. No pressure!
We are totally digging this book. The murder mystery spiced with palace intrigue and wrapped in personal secrets sets the anxiety factor pretty high for the reader, but the ease of character interactions and highly stylized imagery levels that and makes this an extremely satisfying read. Thompson and McClaren are developing an amazing array of characters and history for the world that this story takes place in, but every morsel of backstory is important to furthering the frontstory. Becca Carey’s lettering is excellent and Rian Hughes’ design work is a perfect vibe with all other visual aspects of this book. No spoilers, but we are looking really looking forward to what Phaedra finds out next month.
Bulls of Beacon Hill #2
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy MacDonald
Colors by Lorenzo Scaramella
Letters by Carlo M. Mangual
Cover Art by MacDonald & Scaramella
Boston Surgeon Christopher Boldt is getting more famous by the day – but that’s the problem. Chris’ secret doesn’t just threaten himself, it threatens the person he’s ashamed to say he’s related to: his mobster father, Orin Paige. After all, in the hyper aggressive world of Boston crime, Orin having a gay son makes him look weak. So, he does the unthinkable, and puts a hit on his own son. But he never expects the hit to fail.
This book continues to impress. The opening flashback scene is heartbreaking, and it gets emotionally harder from there. Andy MacDonald is delivering a stellar performance in a book that requires physical action and significant “facial acting” from the characters. Scaramella’s coloring is excellent and does a fantastic job of setting the temperature of each panel. Mangual’s lettering is just wonderful. However, the story that is being told is gut-wrenching, and Orlando delivers some amazing dialogue. It is some of his best work, and he is an fantastic writer; so that is saying something. This issue is excellent from start to finish.
Local Man #1
Written by Tim Seeley & Tony Fleecs
Art by Seeley & Fleecs
Colors by Brad Simpson, & Filipe Sobreiro
Letters by Fleecs
Cover Art by Fleecs & Seeley
STRAY DOGS creator TONY FLEECS teams with REVIVAL‘s TIM SEELEY for a series that combines rural crime noir and superhero action.
Once the star recruit of the media sensation super-team THIRD GEN, JACK XAVER had it all. But when controversy sends CROSSJACK crawling back to his mom and dad’s basement in the Midwest, Jack struggles to fit into a world he left far behind. And then the bodies start piling up.
Each issue is a classic Image Comics FLIP BOOK with a lead story drawn by FLEECS and a superhero flashback into the depths of the Image Universe drawn by SEELEY. First issue contains 30 pages of story.
I have been waiting for a couple of months now to write this review. I absolutely love this book. It is visually beautiful, and the story is compelling. This is one of those comics then when you put it down, you can’t wait for the next one. It is a technically challenging book, and Seeley and Fleecs put every ounce of love they have for the medium and genre into each line of dialogue and pen stroke and absolutely nail the execution.
When I first read this book, my initial reaction was “The tone and the style of the story hits in all those feelings of loss and self-doubt that so many people deal with. And there’s an element of hope for redemption that permeates the edges of the story. Sure. It has something for fans of nineties nostalgia, but underneath it’s a real emotional thread that’s just waiting to be pulled.” A couple of months later, after re-reading the book I stand by this. Go read this book.
Also you can check out our interview with Fleecs and Seeley HERE.