Monday, June 12, 2017

Black Bolt #2 Review - Marvel Monday

Gotta Bolt!

Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Christian Ward
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 7, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

After some mixed feelings toward the first issue I return to Black Bolt looking to learn more about what exactly is at stake. With Bolt seeming to not have his powers and stuck in a prison forced to die and come back, there is a lot of things at play that could build up to a good story. I go into this issue just hoping for more.

We jump into the issue with some unknowable time passing as Black Bolt has been killed and come back to life multiple times as punishment or some sick pleasure for the person behind the prison. As he comes to he’s approached by some other prisoners and we learn a bit about Black Bolt being desired for future plans. We meet some characters that appeared in the last issue, but we don’t get much in the way of insight into these new characters.
Next the meeting is interrupted by a character named Spyder who has made a deal with the warden to gain privileges in exchange for working for the warden, almost in a guard role. Things go south pretty quickly and we get a glimpse of some abilities that Spyder has in his grasp. While pestering one of the other prisoners Black Bolt ends up getting the jump on him and is able to put an end to the situation.

This segment starts out pretty dark in learning that Bolt had possibly spent weeks dying and coming back to life, but then we go into character introductions that don’t do much actual introducing. Spyder is the only character that really gets mentioned due to being the only character that really makes an impression at this point. We get the idea of these prisoners being interested in Black Bolt and knowing who he is, but we basically had that same information from their small teases in the first issue.
Black Bolt’s interruption of Spyder doesn’t go unchecked, as he is taken from his cell and thrown into a coliseum style fight with a character named Raava, who reminds me of a Drax mixed with a little bit of Hulk. With some action the scene moves pretty fast as we get to a point where Bolt seems to have won the fight but refuses to kill Raava, and is therefore punished by his own death which he will eventually wake from in the final scene of the comic.

Spyder actually makes a really great first impression. He reminds me of someone slimy and immoral who is willing to whatever he needs while possibly taking joy in it as well. I’d say Raava makes a pretty good impression as well, if only she didn’t come off as many other ‘fighter’ character roles. She enjoys fighting and seems bigger than life almost, it’s just nothing really new in my opinion and outside of Spyder this would have been an issue full of uninteresting characters.
Overall this issue was interesting for the plot, but the writing of the characters makes it pretty run of the mill. In an issue full of character introductions we only get one interesting outlier and he’s supposed to be a character we despise, that’s usually a little easier to write. I’m not really a huge fan of the art style where anytime more than a character or two are in the same panel the detail dramatically goes down. I look forward to where this book goes, but the lack of interesting characters makes me less attached.

Bits and Pieces:
While I enjoy the story premises and plot as it moves along, the lack of interesting characters and being mixed on the art style leaves me pretty mixed on the issue overall.

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