Review: Black Dynamite #2

Introduced in an intentionally-forced, rhyme-heavy recap page narrated by our hero’s main man, Bullhorn, this issue of IDW’s Black Dynamite - subtitle: “Man, Handled” (god bless well-placed commas) - sees our titular tenebrous titan and swarthy sable savior held captive under the auspices of “The Man.” Yes, THAT “The Man.” Attempting to recruit Dynamite for his infectious cult of personality and significant karate acumen, this determined, uptight and fatally-misguided whitey and his Illuminati brethren have clearly never looked down the business end of a fully-loaded Black Dynamite, and they pay the price for it magnificently. Armed only with his wits, his mitts and a fully-loaded rocket launcher, Black Dynamite metes out sweet street justice ... and holy hell is it gorily glorious!

The story from there takes a strange, grander turn than I wouldn’t have immediately expected, with the character making some new friends and taking on the new role of a more militarized revolutionary figure. I’m not entirely certain where they’re going with this, and I cant promise it’s going to be any good, but I’ll sure as shit be there to find out for my own damn self, that’s for sure.

Okay, so if you haven’t noticed, this book is pretty ridiculous. Its tone is ham-fisted, at times overly maudlin and painfully transparent. So, in a word, Black Dynamite #2 is perfect ... for what it is. Let’s not forget that this is a funny book based on a (hilarious) parody of a Blaxploitation movie. That does allow for not a small bit of playfulness, but to hit on all of its required beats, a creative team must also be steadfast and dedicated. Luckily, IDW has nailed it with this combo.

Take the pacing of this story for example; it’s just as it should be, which is to say: fucking ludicrous! Dynamite goes from being a prisoner of “The Man” to being recruited by The Illuminati to “karatesizing” the shit out of said Illuminati to leading an organized militant insurgency against White America, all in about 20 pages.

BLACK_DYNAMITE_02_COV_A copy 1Whereas that breakneck narrative speed would make for shaky ground elsewhere, here it is most thematically welcome, and the resulting action is fierce, fast, brutal and goddamn hilarious.

I love how Ash and Lester nail the tone first set within Blaxploitation cinema; how each diatribe starts off poetically introspective and nigh-philosophical before being lovingly peppered in the urban vernacular; indeed because of that collision, it becomes all the more amazing and well-used.

The art from Ferreira and colorist Jim Ringuet continues to match suit in its classic treatment, with faded pages awash in a veneer of thickly-lain, over-the-top, action-packed presence. It mirrors well the atmosphere first established in the source material and proves to be a faithful translation that I absolutely love looking at in print.

I’m really only knocking off a point for Black Dynamite #2 because it’s taken three months to release this after the first issue, which frankly is unfortunate in a book this entertaining, but don’t let that dissuade any of you Blaxploitation admirers from picking up this book. This shit right here is solid!

Score: 4/5

Writer: Brian Ash & Yassir Lester Artist: Marcel Ferreira Colorist: JM Ringuet Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/7/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital

*Update 5/7/14 12:19 pm