Originally posted on Irish Comic News (12/Feb/2018)
Issue one sets the scene for the mini-series. Cassie Hack, accompanied by Vlad, has arrived in Las Vegas excited at the prospect of a well-earned vacation. The engine of their van has hardly cooled when Cassie spots a body being removed from one of the hotels. After overhearing the EMT team discussing the nature of the persons death, Cassie sets out on the trail of the killer.
The writing provides enough information for readers not that familiar with the cast to get some understanding of their relationships, abilities and motivations. Cassie and Vlad hunt monsters and ‘slashers’ while Vampirella is an alien that happens to also be a vampire. Each of them have their own reasons for investigating the killing that brings a degree of tension between the titular heroes. The story moves along at a decent pace with some enjoyable dialogue peppered throughout the comic. Though I did wonder how Vampirella missed a pretty big detail when she left the hotel room on the second last page. It doesn’t ruin the story but if you follow the events, it seems a tiny bit strange that it plays out that way. Though it would be a much shorter mini-series if it went otherwise.
The art team (Lobosco on line art and O’Halloran on colour art) for James Bond: Black Box are back. The duo move from the world of spy comics into a world of vampires, monsters and gruesome deaths. From the very first page, the art is straight into the horror. The line art gives shape to the man who met his grisly demise while the colours spatter the walls blood red. There’s some nice line art and camera angles particularly when the camera opens up to incorporate Vegas in the background, with the colour art only making it better. I also liked the use of particular colours on Cassie, Vlad and the police in part of a fight scene. I makes the readability of the melee really easy for the audience.
The sound effects, dialogue and captions are also easy read. I also like the use of unique lettering or captions when to denote a supernatural or monstrous quality to the speakers words. Even when the character is speaking off-camera, the reader instantly knows which character it is.
Issue one is a good start to the mini-series and had enough going on in terms of story and art for me to commit to the remaining four issues. A comic with some new comic characters for me to learn about, interesting murder/horror story and good art wasn’t exactly going to be a hard sell.