"Wynonna Earp: Bad Day at Black Rock" is a rock'em sock'em showdown for Earp fans

Writer: Beau Smith & Tim Rozon, Art: Chris Evenhuis, Colors: Jay Fotos, Design & Letters: Christa Miesner, Cover: Chris Evenhuis, Editor: David Mariotte.

If you don’t know who Wynonna Earp is, be warned that she is a bad lass, present-day descendant of the famous gunslinging lawman Wyatt Earp. She is a part of the U.S. Marshals Black Badge Division along with her sister Waverly Earp, Doc Holliday, Agent Dolls, Agent Valdez, Deputy Nicole Haught, and Smitty Grubb. (Fun Fact: Smitty was introduced to the series back in Wynonna Earp #8 and is said to have an uncanny resemblance to Wynonna Earp writer and creator Beau Smith himself.) The Division is meant to be a secret, especially from the general population, but this is put in jeopardy by Congresswoman Nora Radd, who is now a disciple of paranormal Boone Helm. It is Radd’s plan to close down Black Rock Prison, where all paranormals the Division has captured are detained, and set them free.

Wynonna Earp: Bad Day at Black Rock is more about the U.S. Marshals Black Badge Division than it is solely about Wynonna Earp. This ensemble band of characters show exactly what they’re made of when they have to go toe to toe with the paranormals detained at Black Rock Prison. The Earp sisters have a showdown of their own with their long time nemeses, the Del Rey brothers. It is quickly very apparent that there is a long history the reader may not be aware of if this is his first time diving into the world of Wynonna Earp. Personally, this is my first deep dive and I did feel like I was being left out of inside jokes and long-standing vendettas that may have come to their conclusions here. There’s also a Wynonna Earp TV series now heading into its fourth season. Apparently, Smith is well-known for pulling from the series and including it in his comics as easter eggs. Knowing this, I now understand that Smith truly writes for his long-time fans. Yet, he keeps the newbie reader, like me, in mind enough to spare us the frustration of feeling completely lost. Bad Day at Black Rock is fast paced in the best way. It keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. The end seems to wrap up a bit too quickly, but it’s still a solid enough ending to get me anxious for the next book.

Artist Chris Evenhuis does a great job of bringing Earp’s world to life. There certainly is a theme as far as the color tone throughout, a pale yellow for Earp and the Division, red for the paranormals. Evenhuis’s art is smooth and clean. The way he brings the action to life is surprising. There are a few mini subplots that Smith and Rozon cap with a segue. Evenhuis for the most part takes great creative liberty in their presentation. It wasn’t until Wynonna Earp Legends that Evenhuis became a comic book artist for Smith and Rozon. He has been working with the pair as far as secondary covers prior to Legends. I believe it is his work on Legends that has helped him to get to a point where not only does his art complement Smith and Rozon’s story, but their story equally complements his art. It is a great read through and through. Be sure to get your copy this week.

Wynonna Earp: Bad Day at Black Rock is published by IDW and is on sale September 25, 2019.

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