Thursday, January 04, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: The Black Coat: A Call to Arms

Writers: Ben Lichius & Adam Cogan
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Company: APE Entertainment
Price: $12.95 (Website)

I love the concept for this story, a masked adventurer fighting a slightly supernatural menace in 1775, just before the Revolutionary War developed. And I love a lot of about the execution as well, from sure-to-be-A-lister Francavilla's art to the swashbuckling, intelligent characterization of the main character and his Shadow-like band of secret operatives. I wish the story itself had been a little less convoluted by the time it ended, as it's not a terribly satisfying conclusion for a miniseries. It ends on a massive cliffhanger, the big mystery of the traitor in the group is never resolved and the sinister League is not really explained much either. As the first arc of an ongoing, it would have been more satisfying, but even then, I would like to have seen a little more closure and less open-endedness. That said, the general vibe here is cool, and recommended for fans of pulp adventure with a new, historical twist.

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