By Frank Barbiere & Colin Lorimer
Wow! Blackout #1 was one wild ride! Having no prior knowledge of this series until review time, it was definitely a pleasant surprise. For those in a similar situation, this is a story about a guy with a crazy suit that was mysteriously delivered to him, which allows the wearer to jump in and out of our dimension. Intrigued yet? You should be.
Frank Barbiere has been doing some excellent work with Dark Horse Comics lately, with this being the most recent. Blackout has an absolutely fantastic plot that simultaneously feels very unique with a somewhat classic sensibility to the overall idea. The shadowy, mysterious nature of issue #1 made this book really exciting and interesting, and the overall pacing was very well executed, carrying the story in a fairly cinematic way. The reader is plunged right into the middle of the plot, but it works out really well for this series. Even as a first installment, the book still managed to fill in the more important points while really just getting on with the story. The book was bizarre in all the right ways with subtle humor cropping up in the appropriate moments. There’s clearly a lot of material to cover with just four issues to do it, but this first installment was a damn fine start that will really intrigue fans of any genre.
The artwork in this book was quite incredible. Colin Lorimer presents everything with a great amount of detail and realism, while still possessing a sleek overall appearance. The backgrounds are very well designed and full of detail, while the characters have terrific facial expression and movement. Also, the Blackout itself suit just looks awesome! The sharp line work, dynamic action, and great shading all make this one a wonderful visual experience. Even the color work in issue #1 had a ton of depth and made even the darker scenes feel quite vibrant in their own way. Some of the more interesting designs, such as the opening page, hint at some of the wild stuff we can expect in upcoming issues.
Blackout #1 was brimming with mystery and intrigue based around a very interesting overall concept. Together with the perfect writing, this really was a great first issue. Not giving away too much at the beginning and diving right into the plot was a perfect way to start a series like this, while still providing enough information that readers won’t be terribly confused! The tantalizing hints at some of the crazier aspects of this story will really excite readers for whatever is to come in Blackout. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next!
It should also be noted that this book includes a short backup feature entitled King Tiger. Written by Randy Stradley, with artwork and colors by Doug Wheatley and Rain Beredo, this felt a little out of place in the back of Blackout. The two stories feel vastly different. However, King Tiger was at least interesting with some amazing visuals. With only a few pages to introduce the story, it is a little unclear what this story will actually be, but it was at least an intriguing first look.