Review: Black Dynamite #1
HE’S A POWDER KEG OF BLACK FURY THAT’S ABOUT TO EXPLODE! The baddest kung-fu cat to ever appear on screen is coming to comics so you suckers better duck! Former CIA agent, international ladies man, and sworn ass-kicking enemy of The Man… he’s BLACK DYNAMITE—and he’s about to walk into the most dangerous journey of his life!
The long-awaited Black Dynamite mini-series from IDW kicks off this week. The Blaxploitation spoof that was a movie and a cartoon gets the comic book treatment from writer Brian Ash, penciller Ron Wimberly, inker Sal Buscema, colorist JM Ringuet, and letterer Chris Mowry. Black Dynamite is one bad mother…never mind, that’s a different character. So is Black Dynamite worth the wait?
Black Dynamite is a bad dude. He’s a kung-fu master, a real ladies man, and the one guy that can protect his neighborhood. Except, what if he isn’t really making his community a better place? When Gorilla Pimp attacks, Black Dynamite goes to work. After the skirmish our hero gets confronted by the disgruntled folks he’s hurt with his kung-fu ways. This sets Black Dynamite off on a journey to discover what his place is. Of course a trek across the country doesn’t go smoothly for Black Dynamite. He finds himself in a weird situation with monumental proportions. Things get heavy, but can Black Dynamite pick up what his mysterious follower is trying to lay down?
Ash writes a hilarious, action-packed, and really sharp script. Looking at Blaxploitation films in our slightly more advanced time, there’s obviously a lot of potential to play around with things and ramp up the absurdity. There’s even a little bit of a meta message about Black Dynamite being a caricature. This feels very much in line with the film and even references some of the past Black Dynamite action. This is mainly an introduction to the character more than anything, but Ash sets up an incredibly interesting story. Wimberly’s pencils and the legendary Buscema’s inks make for some stellar art. Things are highly detailed and incredibly crisp. The style perfectly captures the 70s setting the story is sending up. There aren’t a lot of books you keeping going back through to look at the art, but this is one. Ringuet’s colors make it look like any page or panel could be ripped out and made a movie poster. It’s very funky and the pages get sort of a wash to them to make it look like you found this comic with a stack of other classics from way back.
Bottom Line: Black Dynamite is the funkiest comic out there. This is a genre book, just like the film and TV series, aimed at a more mature audience. If this kind of thing is even remotely in your wheelhouse, I think you’re going to dig it. And that ain’t no jive. 5/5