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PREVIEW: 'BLACK [AF] DEVIL'S DYE' by Vita Ayala and Liana Kangas

 This latest BLACK [AF] collected mini-series is written by breakout star Vita Ayala ( New Mutants, X-Men: Children Of The Atom, Morbius, Bitch Planet, The Wilds ) and rising star artist Liana Kangas ( She Said Destroy ).   When a new drug called VANTA hits the streets, word is it's the hottest thing since Ecstacy. For regular people, it has all the highs and none of the lows of traditional drugs. There is some fine print, however - for empowered Black folks, the drug causes a total and violent loss of control. The Project sends Indigo to investigate, and it soon becomes apparent that this is more than just a new designer distraction for the masses. Indigo together with former Detective Ellen Waters race to find the source of the substance poisoning their people, before it's too late!   The superhero universe where only Black people have superpowers continues to expand, for the first time with a new creative team building onto the exciting world created by Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim

REVIEW: 'Bloodshot' #1 by Tim Seeley, Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, and Adelso Corona

Bloodshot is back with a few new thrilling tricks up his sleeve! No amount of high-octane explosions can keep Bloodshot from completing his new mission. Who is the mysterious BLACK BAR, and what do they want with Bloodshot?


Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, Adelso Corona
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: September 25, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Score:  ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

I've always said that Valiant Comics is the best action movie studio in comics. The comic book publisher is rife with great titles like Rai, Ninjak, X-O Manowar, Live Wire, Eternal Warrior, Faith, and Shadowman. All of which, have great heroic protagonists involved in epic cinematic adventures and tons of action. It's no surprise that DMG Entertainment acquired full ownership of Valiant Entertainment last year and is adapting a number of properties into live-action films. Case in point, Bloodshot is being produced by Sony Pictures and starring Vin Diesel. Valiant comics are ripe for the big screen. 

This newest volume of Bloodshot the comic book is an introductory tale that's wall-to-wall action. It's a visceral roller coaster ride of sheer mayhem. It's the perfect example of what you're going to see on a theater screen. Big, rousing, kinetic storytelling that will blow you away. However...

...Bloodshot #1 feels like it should have been issue three perhaps. It has the thinnest of plots and no emotional investment except for some acts of kindness from Bloodshot amid the chaos. There's usually a build-up to such an extravagant extended action sequence once the story's been established and you've met the characters. Despite a convenient monologue explaining Bloodshot's origin story, this really is more for existing fans of the comic than new readers. If you like a symphony of explosions, gunfire, and fighting then this is for you. Tim Seeley is a talented writer but it's unclear if the decision to lean so heavily on the action versus character development was the publisher's way of enticing a potential movie-going audience. 

If you're going to have this much going on the page you might as well have the talents of Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse and Adelso Corona. Booth is in his element creating mind-blowing sequences of hard-boiled action. The pacing is quick and effective with just the right money shots featuring Bloodshot in epic poses. There are a couple of muddled transitions that get confusing among the panels interrupting the mostly operatic rush of violence but it's just a minor speed bump. Dalhouse's colors and Corona's inking give the issue the depth and boldness it deserves. 

'Bloodshot' #1 is a freight train of action that mindlessly barrels down the track at full bore. It's not a bad issue but it lacks any emotional depth to latch onto. It's quite the ride but feels hollow and disposable. Hopefully, the next issues will flesh out the characters more and take a moment to give the reader a reason to care about what's happening.