Review: Black of Heart #1

Who doesn’t like a good serial killer story? No one really, it’s why there are so damn many stories and movies about them. Hell, now there is an influx of TV shows about serial killers. What sets Black of Heart apart from other serial killer stories is its setting: New York City in 1949. If you’re not at least a little bit curious at this point then I don’t know what’s wrong with you because it’s only going to get better. The story kicks off in our yet unknown serial killer’s kill room. He comments about the eyes of his latest female victim and then we find her ass down and naked in an alley way shortly after. We meet Detective Harper as he shows up to work his case. The press is calling the killer The Vulture due to the way he picks at his victims, but his biggest trademark is that he cuts out one eye and removes the eyelid on the other. Harper’s assigned to the Vulture and they’ve managed to get to the scene before the press so he can keep a lid on it being his guy. As Harper leaves he’s harassed by a member of the press who strangely isn’t trying to take photos of the crime scene. After Harper is gone a yellow taxi starts up and takes off as well.

Black-of-Heart-#1-1We head to Martinis Minks and find a woman under verbal assault from a man who is frankly terrible at pickup lines. The woman decides to leave since all the horn-dogs in the joint won’t leave her alone. She heads outside and hails a taxi… yeah, it’s that taxi.

Usually serial killer stories are interesting because of the chase and mystery behind finding the killer, but this first issue basically tells the audience who it is if they’re paying attention. It’s no longer about the discovery, but the chase. The writing was very good and the dialog had great pacing. There are no long-winded conversations, it’s all been boiled down to only what is important and what will drive the story forward. The clues to the killer and even possible storylines involving Harper’s partner are great; they’re as they’re hidden in plain view of the reader.

The art style came across as photo referenced to me and I’m fairly sure that it’s all digitally created. The photo quality definitely fits the story and gives it a realistic look and feel. The scenes are all pretty standard for the most part nothing jumps out at you, but they tell the story and keep the pacing moving along, just don’t expect anything groundbreaking. Overall though the art is very stylized.

I really didn’t know what to expect with this comic, but I enjoyed the art style and was easily hooked by the story. The two elements work well together to create an interesting story set in a unique setting. If you’re into cat & mouse style of stories or just need something to scratch that serial killer itch then check out Black of Heart.

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Black of Heart #1 Writer: Chris Charlton Artist: David Hollenbach Publisher: Assailant Comics Price: $4.99 Website: