"Black Betty #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Action Lab: Danger Zone
Written by Shawn Gabborin
Illustrated by Rafael Dantas
Colored by Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila
2018, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on November 28th, 2018
Black Betty has been run out of town by the mysterious entity that has possessed the people of Edgecliff. The thing is, she doesn't realize it until she's five miles out. Something got into her head and willed her to leave and that doesn't sit well with her. She turns right around and barrels into town with an axe to grind. She'll have to find the little deaf kid who called her there in the first place and stop the monster that's taken the area hostage...so long as she gets paid.
I get that Black Betty doesn't fight monsters for free, but sometimes that might be necessary. Much of Black Betty #6 is spent with her essentially checking the credit of a little deaf boy to make sure she gets paid for this job. It's a contrast to the beginning of the issue where she's on a rampage against whatever put a whammy on her to send her out of there.
|Click images to enlarge|
This plays into the idea that Black Betty is not your traditional hero. She might even bristle at being called a hero at all. This move took away the momentum that's created in the opening pages of the issue. I'm here to see Black Betty beat the crap out of some monsters, not count some cash. In her favor, she does offer to just take the kid out of this mess and leave the place alone, but that doesn't fly.
When Betty gets back to Edgecliff, she finds a group of citizens that have literally torn a man apart. Artist Rafael Dantas captures this shocking sequence in gore-geous detail. (Do you see what I did there?) Everyone has this weird look on their face, like they're not in control of themselves. Their pupils are small with no real emotion to them, even though they're covered in someone else's blood.
|Click images to enlarge|
Dantas has a fine-lined style that highlights a lot of specific elements to each image. Despite this book dealing with some dark themes, shadows don't play much of a part. Colorist Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila makes Edgecliff look like any small American town with quaint houses and nice greenery. The sun is shining and everything is ok...if you can ignore that guy they ripped to pieces.
I'm hoping now that Black Betty has secured her financing, we can get to the monster fighting. After an ominous and frightening opening, this issue meanders quite a bit. Writer Shawn Gabborin leaves off with a great cliffhanger that gives us a glimpse as to what might be pulling the strings in Edgecliff. Hopefully Betty has been paid enough to deal with it. Otherwise that deaf kid is on his own.