Writer: Max Bemis, Artist: Ruairi Coleman, Colorist: Brittany Pezzillo, Letterer: Taylor Esposito, Cover: Rahzzah.
The Black Terror is a swashbuckling hero from the Golden Age of comics that was revived most recently by Dynamite Comics in Project Superpowers, and given an updated design by Alex Ross. The Black Terror is a pharmacist by day, and created a secret formula that gave him superhuman abilities that he uses to fight crime. One of the side effects of the potion was near immortality; he hasn’t aged much since his WWII fighting days.
I hadn’t been a reader of Black Terror, but spotted the cover to issue #4 as a POP Cover Of The Week candidate. Alex Ross’ redesign of the Black Terror included a skull and crossbones chest symbol that glows, and the cover image this month features a cool effect of the emblem glowing ominously underwater.
Black Terror #4 could just as easily been a tale from the pages of The Spectre; it has that kind of supernatural, karmic justice feel to it.
The story opens with Black Terror in the middle of a fight with minions of the villain Bad Groove. BG is a mutant who has the ability to make you see and feel what he feels, including the acid trip he may be on at the time. He’s also a Viet Nam vet who lost an arm in the war, with a grudge against a cruel drill sargeant (stereotypical much?).
The battle between BT and BG is very trippy to say the least, very entertaining, and well choreographed. Colorist Brittany Pezzillo especially gets a chance to shine, as she gets to create wildly colorful, psychedelic effects over Ruairi’s clean-lined, solid art style. However, the overall color palette is too bright and day-glo for such a dark character.
No spoilers, but in true Spectre style, the guilty are punished in most unusual and creepy ways.
My only complaint is that the issue is so light on words that it was over too quickly. But it was definitely fun while it lasted. Black Terror will be added to my pull list from now on.
Black Terror #4 from Dynamite Comics is available January 22, 2020.