Writer: Latoya Morgan
Artists: Walt Barna & A.H.G
Letterer: Andworld Design
Avery is a black man living in the United States. It’s the 1950s and the World War II veteran has an unfortunate run-in with a racist man in an alleyway. Despite having done nothing wrong, Avery faces a life-or-death situation, but he seems to have some abilities that can turn things around for him. Darkblood #1 is the start of a new series written by Latoya Morgan, with art by Walt Barna, colors by A.H.G, and letters by Andworld Design.
This is a solid debut. It jumps back and forth from the present encounter in the alleyway and a dogfight from ten years ago. Morgan heavily implies that Avery got some superpowers in the war, but doesn’t reveal too much in this issue. It’s clear that the creative team doesn’t want to show its entire hand here, but still does just enough to hook the reader.
While the flashbacks are full of planes going down and stormy skies, the present situation feels much more harrowing to read. Morgan does a stellar job at depicting life for a black man in the 50s. Even as a veteran, Avery is constantly berated, threatened, and blamed for things he isn’t at fault for. Everyone around him seems to be a threat, making this a fast-paced read. The flashbacks are still intriguing, but they don’t reveal too much, and the social implications of Avery’s current dilemma are simply more interesting.
Walt Barna and A.H.G come together to make this book look great. Whether it’s an ongoing war or two characters talking in the dark, every page is a joy to look at. Every panel has great use of space, and Barna poses each character in a way that maximizes impact. A.H.G’s colors do a great job of adding excitement to the script. The blues and greys of the night are juxtaposed with harrowing oranges and reds that add danger to the pages. The action during the war scenes doesn’t flow throughout the panels as smoothly as it could, though. It somewhat hurts the pacing, but it doesn’t ruin the experience.
It has a few hiccups, but Darkblood #1 is a solid debut. The mix of thrills and relevant social issues makes this an exciting read that’s worth checking out.
It has a few hiccups, but Darkblood #1 is a solid debut. The mix of thrills and relevant social issues makes this an exciting read that's worth checking out.