Blackout #1-4 Review

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A while back I reviewed Dark Horse’s Skyman miniseries. Unknown to me at the time was that this series was a part of Dark Horse’s “Project Black Sky” superhero line of comics. Blackout is another comic from that same line and it feels similar to Skyman in many ways. It’s a four issue miniseries as well that focuses more on its story then actually developing any interesting characters.

Blackout stars Scott Travers who has this suit that allows him to traverse through a dark dimension that he uses to pass through walls. Scott’s dad left him this suit and then disappeared so Scott is searching for him. Of course some mysterious people are hunting him down for the suit so he has to face them and their giant mech suits.

There’s not much else here in this series and I truthfully just found it completely uninteresting. I’m trying my hardest to remember the events of this comic and there’s only a few things that I can recall even though I read this fairly recently. The only really good things I liked in the comic were the suit design itself and the dimension the suit accesses. This dark dimension is cold so Scott needs the suit to get through it so he actually uses it in a fight by having people fall into the portal he makes. It’s a clever idea and it makes for an entertaining fight scene. This Scott guy though is just a plank of wood in terms of personality. It drags the book down when there’s no interesting characters to even care about. I just can’t recommend the book at all and it’s no wonder the “Project Black Sky” line failed with output like this.

Writer: Frank J Barberie

Artist; Colin Lorimer

Rating: Rubbish

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Skyman Vol. 1: The Right Stuff

For the first time on Vintage Bullet we’ll be doing a review of a Dark Horse comic.

In this story the original Skyman is seen on television assaulting a black guy in a bar and then calling Obama the “N Word.” The government decides it’s time to replace him with another member of the Skyman training program but they’re all white so they kidnap our main hero, Eric Reid, who was crippled in a jet plane fight. The Skyman suit gives him powers such as superstrength, flight, and the ability to walk again. Reid does what he’s told by his superior, General Abernathy, while being hassled by another army guy named Sharp who hates him for letting his squad die in that jet fight.

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First I have to mention how since this volume is only 4 issues it breezes by quick. It took about half an hour to read and the pacing is really fast. There’s constant leaps in time from the first time he puts on the suit to a 40th time he went out to fight Arabs. Which makes it odd in a later scene where he’s still shouting out loud how awesome it is to be flying, even though it’s the climax. The biggest example is after giving a speech about how he’s better than Sharp because he cares about who lives or dies and then immediately on the next page when Midnight asks if they should check if the villain is alright he says “Screw him” and walks off.

This leads to my biggest problem with the story, a lack of stakes and investment. A lot of that comes from the lack of an interesting cast. Reid bounces around from the gruff hero with a sad backstory to a snarky teenager who just got their powers. Sharp is angry because he got passed over as Skyman and hates Reid because those people that died. He gives Reid a shower beating and it’s an even fight so they just stop in an awkward scene. Captain Midnight is here for a crossover and he’s pretty cool as a Captain America stand-in.

I’m gonna mention my favorite aspect of the whole book is the art. The landscapes are so detailed and the sense of flying you get during those scenes is amazing. I will say this is a pretty run of the mill story but the art brings it back up so much. It’s solid throughout the whole book and nowhere does it falter. Hats off to Manuel Garcia for bringing an alright story into a visual splendor.

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov

Artist: Manuel Garcia

Rating: Borrow from a Mate

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