Francesco Francavilla’s “Black Beetle” series is causing quite a stir in the comic book world and he seems to only be getting started. His newest story “The Black Beetle: Night Shift,” originally published in “Dark Horse Presents” in three parts, in collected here and it’s one of the more fascinating comics to come out in the New Year.
Taking place in 1941, an ancient artifact called the “Hollow Lizard” makes its way to the “Colt City Natural History Museum.” Since this is an item of great dark magic, the Nazis have deployed a squad to go and get it. The Black Beetle, however, is there to make sure this artifact does not get into their hands.
Reading about Nazis and the occult is nothing new, but Francavilla manages to write an intriguing story that is fast and keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat. Though there isn’t much to the story, what there is gets its point across and it’s one of the better stories featuring a superhero fighting Nazis.
In any other story, the other character, Dr. Antonia Howard, may be used only as a background character. But here she seems like a genuinely well-written character and can even come back to make an appearance in another chapter later on.
Francavilla’s art brings out the pulp nature of the comic well. Sticking with a classic pulp style, while giving it his own spin, Francavilla breaths a certain life into the art style that seems missing in many of today’s pulp styles. It has that pulp essence to it that only those who truly enjoy and respect the genre can create.
Every panel is pure pulp bliss.
“The Black Beetle: Night Shift” is a well-written pulp comic that is a joy to read from beginning to end. It is a page turner and has some of the best art the genre has seen this generation. “The Black Beetle” series and Francesco Francavilla are going places and those places will be huge.
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