The Black Beetle, Vol. 1: No Way Out by Francesco FrancavillaEvildoers in Colt City beware! The city is under the protection of... The Black Beetle!
I got this from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley!
Without giving too much away, The Black Beetle is a throwback to the pulps of the 1930s and 40s. While visually he looks like a mix of Batman and Blue Beetle, The Black Beetle most resembles Norvell Pages The Spider in my mind. Or early Batman stories where he gunned people down fairly regularly. He goes out of the frying pan and into the fire so many times his flesh should be a charred mess.
The plot was actually my least favorite part of the book but it was still engaging, an action-packed detective tale. When The Black Beetle finally catches up with Labyrinto, it does not disappoint. The zero issue, the tale of a bunch of Nazi agents looking for a lizard amulet, did a great job of introducing the Black Beetle while not revealing too much.
The art was the star of the show for me. It reminded me of 1990s Mike Mignola, Guy Davis Sandman Mystery Theatre run, and also Tim Sales art on Batman: The Long Halloween. Francavilla used shadows very well and his art and panel arrangement gave The Black Beetle kind of a timeless quality, like it was something great I was remembering from years ago rather than something I was reading for the first time. You can see the love Francavilla has for the comic medium and for his Black Beetle character in every panel.
The Black Beetle himself has a very simple but iconic look, like some member of the Justice Society introduced in the 1940s that you forgot about. If a two-gun gadget-driven Batman type hero is your thing, give The Black Beetle a try. Hes influenced by Batman, The Spider, and other masked mystery men without being a generic homage. 4.5 stars. Im ready for more Black Beetle!
No Way Out Review
In Cult Catalogue, I offer my thoughts on cult movies, and try to determine whether or not they are essential, forgettable, or somewhere in between. Throughout this series I will endeavor to focus primarily on cultish, lesser-known, or largely forgotten films, though in the age of the Internet, nothing is ever truly forgotten, so occasionally the movies may seem more familiar. These posts will be less academic, and more in the vein of straight up reviews or blog posts, though occasionally I will attempt to bring in some sort of scholarship or academic approach to these write ups whenever warranted. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. As always, I welcome your feedback, so please, let me know what you think of this entry in the comments after the article.
Just moments ago, Ash Hollywood was engaged in rough, passionate sex with her boyfriend and now caught in the middle of a shoot out; her boyfriend is lying dead on the ground. Afraid with nowhere to run, Ash Hollywood is captured and awakes the next day in a mysterious cell. Unknowingly to Ash, Eric has recruited her to a special agency's headquarters, to train in the art of assassination. Her training is divided between steamy lessons with the sexy Madison Ivy in martial arts and the beautiful Monique Alexander in manipulation and seduction. Upon completion of the program, Ash leaves with a new identity, Tia Snow. In addition to her assignments, she finds love with Luc, a local civilian and is to hide her true profession. Just as life seems stable news of treason within the agency hits, leaving Eric dead.
Storyline: Tom Farrell is a navy officer who gets posted at the Pentagon and is to report to the secretary of defense David Brice.
stand your ground a novel
Movies in Theaters
It's like a terrifying jigsaw puzzle. And because the story is so tightly wound and the performances are so good, I found myself really caring about the characters. That's the test of a good thriller: when you stop thinking about the mechanics of the plot and start caring about the people. The movie begins with the same basic situation that was always one of Alfred Hitchcock's favorites: An innocent man stands wrongly accused of a crime, and all the evidence seems to point right back to him. In "No Way Out," there are a couple of neat twists.