Black Market #4 Review from #BoomStudios

Black Market #4
Boom! Studios
Words: Frank J. Barbiere
Pictures: Victor Santos


Well I didn’t see that coming.  Frank J. Barbiere wraps up this first arc (at least I hope it’s just a first arc) and completely changes the dynamic between Ray and Denny with this one issue.

Without giving away too much, Ray is way more on top of things than I ever imagined.  Up until now, I’ve pictured Ray as the poor sap who’s just trying to help his girl and save his brother and has found himself in the deep end of the pool while barely treading water.  Well, that’s not exactly the case.  Ray is kind of the man in this issue.  Technically, he’s been the man the whole time, but now we all know it.

Black Market was a cool story about a guy who kills super heroes, but he’s not a criminal mastermind.  He’s out to save the world.  But isn’t that what all criminal masterminds think they’re doing?  Making the world a better place?  Perspective is an interesting thing.  Where you’re at determines what you see.  For instance, the super heroes in Black Market seem often come off as a pack of dicks as often as not.  Ultra, the Alpha-level Super who managed to eff up Ray and Denny’s lives, seems like one of the biggest dicks of them all.  He punched a hole in a dudes chest.  And he’s the hero.

So what role is Ray filling?  That’s the question I have now, and that’s what really makes me like this series even more.  Written from a different angle, Ray could totally be the big bad in this story.  And maybe he is.  I don’t know.  Is he really just a guy who’s trying to get by and found himself caught up with some folks who may or may not have his best interests in mind?  Maybe.  Or, did Ray take advantage of this group to further his own goals?  Or are both things possible?  Perspective matters.  And I think Frank J. Barbiere has done a great job of blurring those lines to tell a unique super hero story that still has me wondering.

I really hope we see more Black Market stories, if only to see more of Victor Santos’ art.  Nicely done gentlemen.  Nicely done.

4.75 out of 5 Boxes of Cookies

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