By Brian Buccellato, Ronan Cliquet, & Mat Lopes
The Black Bat has been one of the better recent pulp-era revivals from the beginning, and if anything, issue #6 has put the pace of the book firmly back on track and treated readers to a welcomed dose of action-packed espionage and excitement.
Fan-favorite writer, Brian Buccellato, has handled the character magnificently in every respect, and this has really begun to see a big pay-off in the latest installment. In the beginning, it was noted how the character of Tony Quinn felt like a realistic portrayal of a burgeoning vigilante, and the expert character-development maintained a steady pace as the story progressed with each issue. With issue #6, we see a crescendo in the development of his alter-ego; Quinn appears much more comfortable as the Black Bat and his actions and accompanying dialogue seem to possess a greater depth of self-confidence. This is not only a satisfying progression in terms of character evolution and plot advancement, but it also happens to translate into some terrific action sequences in this issue. Despite all of the raw energy in Black Bat #6, it maintains its mysterious approach by continuing to provide vague allusions to a greater conspiracy behind the Bat’s handlers, while also elaborating on his current investigation involving the missing police. Finally, just when you think the case has been concluded, a deeper layer is added in order to keep fans guessing until next month.
The artwork provided by Ronan Cliquet and Mat Lopes remains some of the most consistent in the medium. Every issue in this series is presented with an equal amount of refinement and clarity. The relatively minimalist style of Cliquet is perfectly suited to classic pulp-action and mystery, particularly when accompanied by the work of Lopes. Both of these guys really understand the genre, providing a classic sensibility, while also emphasizing a subtle attention to detail that really helps to convey the overall tone of the book. The deep, hazy colors, the lush and dark lighting, and the simple-yet-attentive illustrations all combine to accurately portray the dynamic nature of the story while keeping the visuals incredibly clean yet atmospheric.
The latest installment in the Black Bat series was one of the best issues of the book in recent months. The entire issue was thrilling with excitement and intrigue around the corner of every panel. The fast-paced nature of issue #6 made for a gripping read without sacrificing story development. This is the direction the character has been crafted for. Buccellato has paced the series with masterful precision and there are some big pay-offs for readers this month.