Review: Black Bat #3

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The Black Bat continues his redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his alter-ego Tony Quinn. But, before pursuing criminal kingpin Oliver Snate, Black Bat steals a page from Robin Hood to come up with the resources to fund his campaign. Also, Quinn’s past unfolds as he recalls his first meeting with Carol Baldwin.

The third issue of Dynamite’s modern take on the 1930s pulp legend the Black Bat comes out today. The story is written by Brian Buccellato with art by Ronan Cliquet. Mat Lopes provides colors and Rob Steen handles lettering. The new take on Black Bat has been solid, but there’s still a lot of questions and mystery to the story. Does the third outing start to tighten things up?

black bat coverTony Quinn, the Black Bat, has gotten a tip that may just lead him to Oliver Snate. Snate is the man behind all the crime in the city and is responsible for over 20 cops being kidnapped and held captive. It was Quinn’s days as a lawyer without a moral compass that allowed Snate to run free. Now the Black Bat is atoning for his sins and trying to save the city’s cops. Tony’s tip leads him to a laundromat in Jamaica Town that’s serving as a front for Snate’s operation. Snate isn’t at the laundromat, but his personal bodyguard is. The Black Bat quickly dispatches the goons in the place, but he takes his time dealing with the bodyguard, trying to get information on Snate’s whereabouts. The Bat doesn’t get a location, but he gets told about the bomb that was picked up at the docks last issue. With the newfound information, Black Bat gets his partner, Silk, to spreads the wealth around and try to find out what he can about Snate and the bomb. The tension about the cop kidnappings have the city on edge, and the police department is feeling the pressure. They’re tasked with finding the cops and getting Black Bat off the streets. Silk finds himself talking to the wrong person and the Black Bat may just find himself in a trap. Can he escape the trap the cops are about to spring on him? Will the Black Bat find his war on Snate over before it really even started?

Buccellato writes a solid issue. We don’t get a flashback to Tony Quinn’s early days and how he became the Black Bat, but we do get another little taste of the mystery surrounding the people that gave him his new abilities. We don’t know who they are, but we’re starting to find out what their larger plan is. This issue feels much tighter than the previous entries. We know the gist of Tony’s origin so we’re moving on to what he has to do and why he’s doing it. Cliquet’s art is great. He has a little over half an issue of big action. He gets to play around with a few pages during the laundromat action sequence. Lopes’ colors help sell the Black Bat’s dark and gritty world. There’s almost a fluorescent light-like glow added to the panels.

Bottom Line: Black Bat #3 is another great outing in Buccellato’s updated version of the Black Bat. This issue really tightens things up. It feels like we’re starting to see some forward movement instead of a heavy emphasis on the origin story we saw bits and pieces of in the first outings. There’s still a lot of questions left unanswered, but #3 really moves the story forward. 4/5

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