Review: The Black Suit of Death – The Ides of March

I’ve struggled with reviewing this book. I’ve sat down before to review it and I still can’t really decide if it’s something I like. There’s elements I like about it, but then ultimately it feels like it’s just not over the top enough. That’s it’s goal, to be over the top and funny because of it. It’s successful at times, but other times it’s trying too hard. The story takes place on a planet called Utopia and you guessed it… it’s a utopian paradise. The problem is that everyone is living too long and there’s not enough energy for the world to survive. A doctor is asked to help with this problem and he decides that he’ll create a suit that absorbs people’s energy after killing them. The wearer of the suit will be judge, jury and executioner… though I don’t know why he’d need to be the jury. The science council (which is another tip of the hat to Superman) tells him no and he puts the suit on and kills them… until he absorbs too much power and is infused with the suit.

The-Black-Suit-of-Death---The-Ides-of-March-1There’s some obvious twists to the story, but for the most part that’s the issue. The black suit of death is sent elsewhere and that’s where the real story will begin.

The writing is okay. Like I said, it’s trying to be over the top and cheesy. The problem is, it’s trying rather than being. When you try to be cheesy it’s bad. When the story forgets it’s effort it ends up being quite good.

What saves it is Stefano Cardoselli’s artwork. If you’ve ever seen Cardoselli’s art, then you already know if you love or hate his art. I love his art. The gritty thick lines and erratic nature of the art is wonderful to me. Cardoselli’s artwork grabs you. The over the top violence is exactly what you want from his style. He’s become known for it in a way, but it’s great each time. The coloring reminds me of the style that Ben Templesmith made famous, but Craig Gilliland has elevated it, making it his own. Gilliland doesn’t rely so much on one color hue or an excess of black ink.

This story is just a one-shot attempting to set up a larger story. I would like to see where it goes from here, but that would depend on the creative team staying together. If a different artist jumps on the book I would lose interest instantly because there’s nothing that unique about the story. It’s homages a lot of famous comic properties, but that doesn’t make it good per say. This prelude does its job and hooks the reader for more issues and that’s exactly what you want to do as a comic creator. We’ll see how it turns out from here.

Score: 3/5

The Black Suit of Death – The Ides of March Writers: Ben Kreger, Ed Ellsworth Artist: Stefano Cardoselli Colorist: Craig Gilliland Publisher: Warrior Innkeeper Creative Price: $1.99 Format: One-Shot; Digital Website