Warren Ellis' Blackcross (Project Superpowers)
There are a few consistent themes through my blog posts. I love the writing of Warren Ellis, I love things from the Public Domain, and I’m a consistent fan of creative remixes. I’ve just finished reading a graphic novel that managed to tick all of those boxes. Blackcross by Warren Ellis tells the tale of a kind of cosmic exorcist (the American Spirit) on the trail of the ghosts of several golden age comic book figures, most notably The Black Terror, who have posessed the inhabitants of a small town.
The Good: I enjoyed the comic. It was exceptionally well illustrated, and the story provided a new (and frankly unsettling) take on several classic characters. It got a lot of things right, and it got them very right.
The Bad: The story was rushed, and suffered for it. Action happened in single panels that deserved pages, and in single pages that deserved whole issues. If this had been a movie, the pace would have felt right. As a comic, it felt condensed, as if the publisher decided to cut the number of issues part way through.
Verdict: I can’t help but recommend the book, in spite of it’s flaws. The story was perfectly unsettling, and the concept is one that I hope to see explored more, and more often. That, coupled with the magnificent artwork more than makes up for the rushed storytelling.