Kara O'Connor

Comic Review: Black Market #1

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Boom’s newest super hero story, Black Market, isn’t about how super heroes live. It’s about how they die.

Black Market

Black Market #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Victor Santos
Publisher: Boom Studios
Release Date: July 16, 2014

Black Market #1 (of 4) Pick it up today!

Black Market, written by Frank J. Barbiere, tells the story of an erstwhile antihero named Ray Willis. Barbiere, who also writes the popular Five Ghosts, imagines a world populated by super humans who are hunted for their precious DNA. Ray is just a regular, human man who struggles at his day job where he readies the recently deceased for funeral time. A quiet and nerdy sort of guy, Ray seems sweet and innocent, working hard to buy medications for his MS-stricken girlfriend. However, a dark secret bubbles from Ray’s closet as we are introduced to his bad-news brother, Denny. Denny manages to convince his little brother to help him acquire DNA samples from the “supes.” The DNA, he claims, will be used to research and potentially cure a myriad of terminal illnesses, including MS. Sadly, the naively altruistic Ray Willis believes the task will be controlled and calculated, while big bro has other ideas in mind.

The concept for this four-part limited series is superb, giving new life to a very old genre of comic book storyline. Ray seems like a character who is about to embark on a very intense journey and how he emerges when he emerges on the other side remains to be seen. The writing style was clear and crisp and never felt over-the-top, which I very much appreciated. Barbiere did more “showing” than “telling” and gave the audience the benefit of discovery. The characters were vastly different and easy to tell apart, giving them their own dimension and heft. Victor Santos’ art style was classic and fit the story’s dynamic to a tee.
Issue #1 is an excellent start to a personal journey that is sure to challenge both reader and character alike.

Get your Black Market dose today, before the needle runs dry.


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