Monday, July 22, 2013

Black of Heart - Assailant Comics

Noir fiction at its best.

Okay, I admit it, this is a rather fast turnaround for another review of an Assailant Comics book but Gawd-a-Mighty these boys are cranking out some great reading.  Black of Heart, chapter one; Last Cab in Brooklyn was a stunner from page one to the cliffhanger on the final panel of the story.  Writer Chris Charlton has created a piece of Noir fiction the likes of which I haven't seen since Ed Brubaker's Criminal series.  Masterfully illustrated by David Hollenbach and smartly lettered by Brant W. Fowler this book proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's something going on over at this company well worth keeping an eye on.

Black of Heart is a dark and visceral tale about a serial killer stalking the streets of Brooklyn and the detective trying to hunt him down and put an end to his reign of terror.  Writer Chris Charlton continues to display a real talent for using classic elements of any particular genre without falling into the quagmire of using overworked and tired cliches.  The man just knows how to tell a good story.  I liked Binary Gray, but I loved Black of Heart.  Chris just seems to be gaining confidence with each and every story he's writing and I'm quickly becoming a real fan of his work.

The illustrations of David Hollenbach border on absolute brilliance producing some truly goose-bump and hair-raising panels without going into the extremes of excessive blood and gore.  Don't get me wrong, David ain't afraid of walking on the wild side and he does some things with point of view perspective that will draw you into a world not meant for the squeamish or faint of heart. He nails it folks, he just flat out nails it.  And lest I forget it, Bryant W. Fowler does a great job with the lettering.  I know it seems like a minor point to some but quality lettering can sometimes make or break a book and in this instance Mr. Fowler puts the perfect cherry on top of the Noir sundae.

I don't care what everyone else might be reading over the next few months, but as for me and my house, we're gonna be glued to Black of Heart.  I have a feeling this is going to be one of the sleepers of the summer and I don't plan on missing a single episode of what promises to be a great story.

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