Blackacre #4 continues the travails of Hull as things go from bad to worse. Having escaped the forces of the military industrial complex he once served, he finds himself faced with an altogether more depraved, vile enemy; Jesus freaks. This issue is the calm before the storm for this arc, with the finale coming in next issue, but it’s still got the quality story, characters and art that you’ve come to expect from “Blackacre” by now.
WRITTEN BY: Duffy Boudreau
ART BY: Wendell Cavalcanti
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE DATE: March 6th, 2013
There’s nothing really exceptional about this issue, beyond the fact that despite its lack of any distinguishing quality it still remains eminently readable and captivating. More than anything else, this issue sets the stage for what’s to come. We see tension begin to simmer between Sinclair and Bird, his man in the field, and Sinclair begin to worry about an investigation into his actions headed by a rival politician. Hull is captured by the Yokes, religious tribesmen and women who have established a totalitarian rural cult in the wilderness they inhabit, who are none too happy when they discover tokens of their slain brethren in Hull’s backpack. Caged, he befriends a recent captive, Lee, whose rebellious nature is slowly wearing on the cult’s leaders. There isn’t a lot that happens this issue, but what does unfold serves to heighten the tension that will be released, or developed further, in issues to come.
Cavalcanti’s art is, as usual, excellent. If there’s one thing that stands out in this issue, however, it’s how he manages to have characters communicate through their body language and facial features. It’s an often-overlooked flaw in comics that characters faces don’t properly correspond to their words. It’s easy to have a character to have an overly shocked or cynical expression when they are suddenly betrayed or are an archetypical villain, respectively. But it’s another thing to have characters functionally communicate with minimal text, with none at all, or to communicate something beyond the text. This isn’t to say it doesn’t happen at all in comics, but this issue is an excellent example of how to do it well.
Another month, another quality issue of “Blackacre.” Pick it up.
Reviewed by – GeorgeShunick