If the title Black Dynamite doesn’t scream ‘blaxpoitation’ then you’re probably just not aware of the concept; a genre of films in the 1970s that was made for the black community. Unaware if this was a play on the genre, a joke on the genre, or both, I read this book completely blind to what I was in for all for the sake of discovering, is it good?
Black Dynamite #1 (IDW Publishing)
The first thing you’ll notice when opening this book is the incredible style artist Ron Wimberly brings to the pages. Using a lot of Ben-Day dots to differentiate between fabrics, backgrounds, and even weapons, Wimberly makes everything pop nicely. The colors aren’t too bright or subdued which helps age the book, and that’s to the credit of JM Ringuet. You’ll swear this was something printed in the early 80s when you read it, which was on purpose I’m sure. We’re getting a slice of history, or at least that’s the point, so that we can be transported to a time when characters jived just the right way.
That’s pretty funny.
Black Dynamite is one hell of a character who’s into kung-fu, has ladies falling all over him and contains enough swagger to put most to shame. Writer Brian Ash does an impeccable job fleshing out the character in his debut issue. You never think it’s false or underwritten. The flow of the story is strong too, keeping your interest but filling us in on the world and characters. The character is established in the world but you don’t feel left out which keeps the reader interested. At one point we find out Dynamite “whooped president Nixon’s ass” by a character simply mentioning it. Sounds pretty epic and I want to see it, but it’s off page. That increases Dynamite’s badass nature but also makes the world seem that much more real. The guy has been working it for a while and we’re just coming into his story as the black community rejects him.
Love the Ben-Day dots.
That’s where this issue really sings: the character is being forced to move away from what he knows, from what we know of him, and going in a new direction that’s compelling and interesting. What we have here is an excellent intro to a character and just as we’re starting to get to know him he’s being forced out of his comfort zone. That spells some excellent potential in the series and should excite anyone who’s looking for a good story. On top of all that I haven’t even mentioned the humor. This book doesn’t take itself too seriously, with some great laugh out loud moments to keep the story honest.
Huge ride man.
Is It Good?
This is one of those books that should be read by way more folks than it might reach because the title and premise at face value seem to be written for a niche. Not so. This book is humorous, interesting and well written. Anyone who enjoys comics should be able to jump into this book and enjoy it, no matter the race or prior opinions on blaxploitation.
A gem that shouldn’t be missed.
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