April 23, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: The Black Beetle #3

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Written by: Billy
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The Black Beetle #3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Francesco Francavilla
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Letters: Nate Piekos

At the Coco Club, a beautiful woman sings a song that makes men swoon. Yes, even the Black Beetle, who has gone into the club in disguise to find out just what is going on at this club where the owner just died days ago in that big explosion. There’s also that new criminal in Colt City, Labyrinto, and the Black Beetle owes him, too. During his undercover investigation, the Beetle thinks he sees one of the crime bosses that supposedly died in the explosion. As he chases after him, he runs right into the clubs “security.” Just your average half a dozen goons twice the size of the Black Beetle…yep, they don’t stand a chance!

To say that this series is good is probably the biggest understatement on the planet. This issue actually took a step away from the normal plot of the Black Beetle and his heroics, and focused on his alter-ego being undercover at a club. The best part by far was the fight scene in the back alley behind the club. The hero looked hopelessly outnumbered, but defeated almost every thug easily. This was very different from the costumed fights, because he couldn’t let on for an instant who he really is under the disguise.

Another interesting plot twist is the “intermezzo” that has been dropped in the middle of each of the issues so far. This time it showed an ominous scene somewhere in the middle of Colt City, where a very strange man was performing some kind of ritual. We do not yet know what this entails, but hopefully it either pushes this story to even greater heights, or is something that will lead into a second volume of this series!

The book’s artistic value cannot be undersold and matches the high quality of the story, stride for stride. That sounds impossible, but for anyone who’s seen the work that Francavilla has done in the past, you know it is not. His cover work has been very prevalent over the last couple of years, and this series is going to send him into the stratosphere. Of course, he’s also been on Captain America, and now Hawkeye, too, as the regular artist, so believe me when I say that his star is on the rise, and The Black Beetle is the best place to start discovering his work! Rating 5/5

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Eli

    Thanks for turning me onto this title Billy. I’m still loving it after these 3 issues. Francavilla is doing a fantastic job on this book, I love his style here. I’m starting to really get a taste for these noir books.

  2. Billy

    Sure thing, Eli! Keep an eye on Dark Horse, they’ve got a good line up!

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