A dad with no name and his two kids are driving down an abandoned highway in a big rig. They get hijacked by two punks, dad gets shot, and then one of the punks is melted by the sun. I guess he needs to start rocking the SPF 75. And that is the tale of Black Dawn #1. Not enough happened in this first issue to keep anyone interested until the end when one of the hijackers gets melted by sunlight. We, the readers, arenít told exactly whatís going on and exactly why the dad and his kids are running. What we are told is that they need to head west, and that the emergency broadcast system is relaying a message about evacuation. The set-up was weak and bland; there was no hook to the story. If I hadnít been reviewing this, I probably wouldnít have finished reading it.
There was essentially no dialogue, like none in the first 20 pages. I know this is supposed to be a horror comic, but you need talking Ė itís not like film. In film you at least have music, and often great suspenseful music, i.e. Jaws and Psycho. In a comic, when there is no dialogue, and there certainly isnít any background score keeping you alert, you pretty much listen to the sound of your own breathing while looking at pictures. Sort of like a museum, but less fancy. Plus thereís better artwork in a museum. Yup, didnít like it, added nothing visually to the comic, and it didnít help the dullness of the dialogue-less pages. Looks like another MS Paint job to me. Since the art wasnít impressive and there was a definite lack of reading material the comic went by too quickly. It wasnít even long enough to be tedious to get through. You know when something, like a text book, is so dull that your brain is screaming and words just blur together and all you want is for it to be over? Yeah, that doesnít happen here, which is both a blessing and a curse. Good because you donít feel like never opening the book again in fear of tediousness, but bad because you never want to open the book again because of its lack of substance. Itís not even interesting enough to be boring. Really, I canít pick out any high points other than people being melted by the sun. That should have been really cool, but just wasnít because of the set-up, or lack thereof.
I would say Iíve read better horror comics, but when I think about it, all the horror comics Iíve read werenít good. So, if you look at it from that angle, this is an average horror comic. Bonus, right? Maybe. I canít say Iíd recommend it though. What I can say is that every time I read a horror comic and end up disappointed, I do get the urge to remind myself of how great the genre used to be and head to the video store. So, if you really want a recommendation, I say keep the $2.99 and go rent 28 Days Later.
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