Release Date: April 30th, 2014
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Written By: Frank Barbiere
Art By: Colin Lorimer
Blackout is an intriguing read. Issue 1 jumped out of the gate with absolutely zero origin or introduction. It just had some guy in a weird gimp suit jumping in and out of portals into some frozen, nowhere world.
It’s still a secret as to who this company is or who made the suit but that’s the fun of this book. Scott toys around with some special ops soldiers as he retrieves the hard drives that may contain data concerning the suit but a self destruct failsafe ensures he and Ash don’t get to see what’s stored on them. In the mean time, the head of the research division is joined by Ms Luca, obviously his superior, and two of her goons to review…something. Wait, there are giant mech suits now? This book goes into left field sometimes but the surprises all feel like they’re building up to something epic. Scott also toys around with the suit in the desert. He experiments with opening portals on the fly while he’s running and pops a few black holes he proceeds to jump in and out of. Then he gets stuck with what looks like a dead battery. While the suit allows him to walk around in the frozen dimension, he can’t stay there forever or he’ll freeze too. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him stuck there. I’m waiting for him to find some other living creature in the place and what kind of physiology it would take to survive in it without a suit like his.
The art is an acquired taste. It’s stuck somewhere between realistic and minimalist. The lack of detail combined with the colors sometimes makes the scenes and characters blend together, creating muddy clay-like features. Case in point, that fight at the beginning with the soldiers. I wish the suit had more detail and definition. The features on the helmet seem to disappear into each other and don’t really stand out. For the suit to be such a big part of this book, it is remarkably uninteresting due mostly to the featureless parts of it. There are entire portions of the suit that have no actual characteristics at all, just muscle tone. The plates on the shoulders and arms would look cool had they been placed on other strategic locations on the suit. The action scenes and acrobatic stunts of Scott and the suit look great though. He jumps and fights, dives and rolls through those portals like nobody’s business. The best part of the suit is those eyes. The lenses stand out in every panel no matter what is going on.
Overall, Blackout feels like a promise of something insanely epic. I just can’t help feeling 4 issues isn’t enough to tell this story. It feels like an ongoing monthly title in that it is so wide open for development and storytelling. The implications of that suit and this mysterious place are near limitless in their potential for tales to be told well into the future. If finished right though, this book could change what miniseries are thought to be capable of.