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Crocodile Black #1
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Comic Books

‘Crocodile Black’ #1 review

A promising start for this action/horror hybrid miniseries.

At the height of the pandemic, a teen struggling with several mental issues (including obsessive-compulsive disorder and seeing hallucinations) has a chance encounter that will change his life forever and rock the criminal underworld to its core. Crocodile Black #1, written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, with art and colors by SOM and Patricio Delpeche, gives us a tantalizing introduction to main character Danny, his family and Danny’s murderous alter-ego, the titular Crocodile Black, who silently and efficiently kills while wearing a pair of black boots made from crocodile skin.

Danny’s family is like many other families we’ve seen in books, TV and film in the past. His mother and sister are overly protective and his dad is borderline abusive, one of those “back in my day” men who gets delight out of antagonizing Danny, almost hoping Danny will lash out so he can give his son a thrashing.  If this were a film, I imagine J.K. Simmons or Jeffrey Dean Morgan (in full Negan mode) playing good old dad.

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I hope we learn more about the family over time.  I feel Danny’s sister in particular is harboring her own dark secrets that she’s overcompensating for.  I’d like for her and the mother to be given more of a spotlight, rather than just relegated to being cheery bystanders in Danny’s life.

Danny has the potential to be an interesting character over time, but he’s not fully realized yet here.  This issue gives peeks into his psychosis and his personality while leaving other aspects of his character shrouded in mystery. Why is Danny being haunted by hallucinations of a young boy?  Is it a younger brother who met a tragic end?  

The highlight of the book is the first few pages, where we’re introduced to Crocodile Black in a great sequence that’s brutal and not for the squeamish. The violence in this book has teeth, feeling like one of those grungy European grindhouse flicks from the ’70s and ’80s that don’t hold back on the gore.

Artist SOM’s work is detailed, moody and atmospheric, a perfect fit for this book.  I especially loved how the art subtly changed from Danny’s home , which had a brighter feel, to the scenes where his alter-ego Crocodile Black comes out, with the world suddenly swathed in shadows. 

This is a solid first issue and start to the miniseries. I look forward to seeing the mystery deepen next issue.

Crocodile Black #1
‘Crocodile Black’ #1 review
Crocodile Black #1
Crocodile Black #1's Danny has the potential to be a much-discussed character in the future.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
The combat scenes have impact.
Danny's struggle with OCD and other mental issues makes him a relatable character.
Danny's family seem like generic characters we've seen in dozens of other stories.
8
Good
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