THE BLACK COAT comic review
 

THE BLACK COAT

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Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: The Director's CutTHE BLACK COAT - 2008
Writer: Ben Lichius
Artists: Ben Lichius, Gabriel Hardman, Jeremy Colwell
Ape Entertainment
$6.95 US / $7.95 CAN
ISBN: 978-1-934944-21-9

Some Superheroes, ain't really super. Take Batman for instance. He has no super powers. He lives by his wits, his trained physical prowess, his money, and the gadgets that money can buy. Otherwise he has no inherent mutant or super powers. His strength is that of a physically well-trained but otherwise normal mortal man.

There are a few so-called Superheroes like this. Iron Man is one, Judge Dredd is another. Zorro harks back to the days of yore. And speaking of yore...

Into this pantheon steps The Black Coat. He's smart, has well-trained physical prowess, and is deft with a sword - like Zorro.

He also lives in the late 1700s so there is a lot of technology which could take down such a man that won't be around for some time. So he has that in his favor. He also fights against the British Redcoats aka the kingdom from across the pond that wants to rule the New World - like Zorro! But there is more to THE BLACK COAT than Zorro-aping stories. For Black Coat must also fight against the superhumans around him and by that I'm talking about the Super-natural. Black Coat fights werewolves or werewolf like things. Sorceresses also enter into it. Dragons even.

So we're in the realm of Fantasy and sword play, but instead of hoary old castles, kings, and princesses, The Black Coat fights during the birthing pains of a new country, the good ol' U.S.of A.

One of the cool things about THE BLACK COAT is creator Ben Lichius' modern day take on it. Instead of the two sides of British soldiers fighting against the Colonist rebellion, Ben also brings in the side of the native Americans who were already here. And not just one tribe, but even the multi-tribes / Nations who couldn't stop their petty bickering with each other long enough to form alliances with, or unify against, the common invading Euro-foe.

Black Coat is a persona of course, Black Coat's secret and real identity: Nathaniel. Nathaniel belongs to Issac Sears "Sons of Liberty" (a rebellious group of Colonists in that period), but even they are unaware that the well spoken and suave* Nathanial is in reality, The Black Coat.

*
These heroic non-superhumans are ALWAYS suave!

It's always the Superhuman superheroes like Clark Kent, Dr. Banner, and Peter Parker who are the social dimwits.

Well, except for Judge Dredd, but you know these Brits. Tch!

Well except for the James Bond exception to Dredd, Tch! Tch!

TRIVIA

An independent comic, THE BLACK COAT is kept alive via a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Read the first issue, A Call To Arms: Part 1 of 4, online for free at issuu!

Visit the official The Black Coat.

Few know his identity but those who do are Josiah and Ursula. Both of them are in on the mysteries that The Black Coat investigates and solves and Josiah might wind up having his own spin-off.

Issue 2 of THE BLACK COAT, which was a long time in coming, apologizes to fans of the first one by bringing the first issue in with the second story and charging the same price. Which is a very nice apology! And this story was worth waiting for.

The first tale deals with a creature that haunts the woods just outside of the Colonist town. The deadly varmint frightens the natives and newcomers alike, but as The Black Coat discovers, there is far more to this critter than legend. And as you will discover, there is far more to the legend that a mere varmint.

The second tale separates The Black Coat from his friend, Josiah, who must journey back to England to discover the source of an amazing "Dragon Wood"

THE BLACK COAT is all about swashbuckling of course, but the artistic emphasis is also on the action and Luchius and Hardman create rough panels as well as visual depth so urgent you can almost see the figures move. What's more, Luchius' stories are both clever and smart. Room is made for thinking, strategy, planning, and emotion - but never maudlin, sappy, or sophomoric "Good Lord! Choke!" emoting. THE BLACK COAT was intended for young adults but it's smart enough for the older crowd.

Think of it! A pre-United States swashbuckling hero battling the redcoats and supernatural creatures and gods, both indigenous and immigrant. What's not to love?

Which is why I urge you to read THE BLACK COAT before it's too late!

Five Fanboys all the way!

FanboyFanboyFanboyFanboyFanboy
This review copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.

THE BLACK COAT
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