All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
In this installment we take a look at Justin Peniston and William Orr’s Hunter Black, Books 1-2…
Hunter Black is an outstanding comic book series. The basic hook is that the protagonist of the book, Hunter Black, has been betrayed and is now seeking his revenge (if that sounds a lot like the first Parker novel, then you would not be mistaken – the name of the character is even a nod to that novel, The Hunter). The only problem is that along the way he has been cursed with a mystical sword known as the Revenger…
So he is now paired with the ghost of an innocent man that he has killed, but while the ghost can obviously inflict pain on him, their alliance must be a two-way street since if Hunter were ever to die, the ghost would move on, as well, and his family would lose their financial support. So he has a motivation to keep Hunter in business.
The first book details Hunter’s first attempts at learning more about who betrayed him.
The second book shows him recovering after his first attempt did not do so well. He figures he needs to learn how to properly wield a sword, so he goes to the top teacher in the world. The problem is that he has just died and one of his fellow students is not about to let his TOP student take over the school. Check out her awesome introduction…
She ends up cutting a deal with Hunter where she’ll train him in exchange for his protection from further attacks (she can definitely handle herself in a fight – she’s awesome, but Hunter correctly convinces her that they’ll be coming at her in so many different ways that they’re bound to eventually kill her unless she has help).
I would imagine that that is the basic set-up of the comic going forward. Hunter is trying to get revenge, but along the way he gets caught up in other plots, including protecting the aforementioned swordswoman.
Peniston wrote an extremely clever story here that flows beautifully, with powerful action as well as interesting characters. Orr’s work is intentionally remiscident of Genndy Tartakovsky, as the book is sort of a hard-boiled version of Samurai Jack. Orr is a fine storyteller and he infuses all of his characters with a great deal of personality.
It’s really a very impressive comic book. You should go out and buy the first two collections at Comixology right this instant! Just a buck for each of the first two issues! Or if you want to follow the strip online, you can read it here.
You won’t be sorry, as this comic is great!