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‘Black Mask: Year Of The Villain #1’ (review)

Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Cully Hamner
Published by DC Comics


Black Mask has never been my favorite Batman villain.

The concept has always felt a bit generic to me honestly. He has a cool look but he was so underdeveloped and undercooked that I never paid him much attention.

So how is this comic, now that Black Mask has received Lex Luthor’s evil offer?

The first few pages show Black Mask as a young boy. It shows him with his parents and how his father used to beat him. It also shows how hard his childhood was.

Yes, he did know Bruce Wayne as a child. But it’s not a moment that makes you groan. It just feels rather natural.

That’s because we have a good writer with Tom Taylor on this issue. He makes everything credible and he writes pretty nifty dialogue.

I also have to point out the art by Cully Hamner here.

This guy’s artwork just seems to be getting better and better with seemingly no roof to his talent. His artwork tells the story perfectly with plenty of action and emotion on each and every panel.

From there, we get to see Black Mask doing some nefarious things. He gets himself in a pickle, and luckily, Lex Luthor comes by to help out! They make a spectacular escape! They then have a pretty funny conversation which ends when Luthor launches into his “offer.”

The creative team keeps things moving right along with a lot of humor injected in. Batwoman goes on the hunt for him. Yet, Black Mask may have indeed gotten more power than anyone ever expected. He may have even changed his face. The last images of the book are incredibly creepy. And I wonder what is in store for this character next?

The only thing I wondered about was why this book was necessary?

I mean, it was a pretty great story and all, I am just wondering if Black Mask will be playing a bigger role. Let’s hope so and let’s hope this creative team works together again. They work very well together.


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