Lady McBlack - Act 1 All Women Are Bad (2013)

Sex :
Violence :
Editors Jason Franks Reviewer :
Publisher Black House Comics
Writers Jason Franks
Art and Colours Jason Franks, Dave Gutierrez, Rhys James
Cover Rhys James
Genre Psycho
Tagline None Listed


"Of course the Janitor is a Giant Cyborg Badass" - McBlack

Proving past crimes don't disappear McBlack is visited by the three Bodicker sisters who want to know what happened to their sister Lila, who just happened to supply McBlack with firepower. To recap, Lila was blown away by the Western Reapers while discussing business with the black one in a doggy park. McBlack suddenly finds himself with a new case, working out who was responsible for the gunfight at the K9 corral.

Naturally there's not a lot of leads to be had, people tend to meet their demise around McBlack and the few survivors are now dead man walking as McBlack wades into the investigation with typical gusto and extreme prejudice. A metro third division soccer club and a gentlemen's club soon learn McBlack really wants quick answers as a prelude to violence. When a SWAT team arrives McBlack might for once find himself outgunned and facing a more organised opposition then he normally has to deal with. Has McBlack moved into the major leagues and just who the hell are the SWAT team working for?

Lady McBlack, no everyone's favourite anti-hero hasn't undergone a sex change since his last escapade, is back in a three comic story arc that promises mayhem, destruction, and funky sound effects. If you haven't read McBlack yet, where you at Mongolia! - then you are in for a real treat and this comic would probably make a great place to start your exploration. Of course you should hunt out the rest of the books as fast as humanly possible if a McBlack novice, it's the only way to get in with the cool kids. For the multiple who have been grooving to the beat through quite a library now, then heck Jason Franks hasn't mellowed any, McBlack is coming at you both guns blazing.

The first book in the trilogy sets up the narrative, ties it in to what has gone before - slick move by Franks there, and adds a little mystery to spice things up. I can guarantee as soon as you finish reading the book you'll be hitting the web to find out if the second instalment is available. Once again we have a very solid example of how to write a comic script, while not taking it overly seriously. In between the mayhem, and McBlack certainly isn't running low on ammunition there are plenty of punch lines and surreal moments to keep that grin on your dial.

One of the things I should mention is Franks' tendency to dabble in author intrusion into the narrative. Normally this is the preserve of literary Writers and other lesser beings but the Author here delivers on the method in surprisingly effective fashion. Make up your own mind about whether or not intrusion works for you, I'm just mentioning it.

Before moving on I should also point out the story is told from the point of view of McBlack himself, no other character is getting a look in. This of course adds some narrative drive to the comic rather than getting bogged down in multiple points of view that really bring nothing to the table in terms of enhancing your reading pleasure. McBlack is interesting enough as a character to carry the story in his own terms, and who doesn't enjoy reading the thoughts of a character with no limitations on his actions. Of course there is that Author intrusion, your call on who is the more demented story teller here.

As is normal with McBlack comics Rhys James has been called on to provide another outstanding cover. James provides this almost pastel feel to the art, it actually looks to be pen and ink but there's that whole flowing feel to the artwork, a blending of the shaper edges. Jason Franks and Dave Gutierrez provide the solid black and white panels that convey the story without feeling the necessity of over embellishing things. The letting is outstanding, this book is easy to read, gets where it's going without the artwork screaming "look at me", but provides the necessary visual interest to have you flicking back through the comic after you're done reading the script.

Lady McBlack comes at you from the good folk at Black House Comics. As we expect from the House the page weight is awesomely good, the package is highly professional, and the production standards match the best the New York industry can send our way. My day for remembering to mention things, House comics are printed in Australia by Jeffries Printing Services, hell yeah!

There's a single page of advertising at the book of the comic, nothing overly taxing for the reader and I certainly recommend Jason Fischer's new novel Quiver, and in what was a treat for me a letters to McBlack page. Actually that letters page harkens back to traditional comic ventures that nearly always included reader correspondence, now we can simply send abusive emails.

Guess I forgot to mention the technical details, running out of room kids, we're talking U.S comic format, glossy cover, and 25 odd pages worth of carnage. This comic comes highly recommended, McBlack is the modern anti-hero we have all been craving with Franks delivery outstanding scripts that will have you glued to the page. The only problem with this comic is the wait for the second instalment. Go out and grab a copy today.

Currently Lady McBlack is available from Black Glass Press for the awesomely good price of $5 AUD. Feel free to browse around the site once you are there for other titles to add to your order, you probably save on postage or something that way.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  McBlack continues to rock the house down, excellent start to a new story arc.