Black Dynamite,”The Greatest Black Hero Of Them All” kicks off his brand new series by kicking ass with kung-fu because that’s what he does best. But while the world has changed around him, he’s stayed the same and now the people of his community are turning their backs on him forcing him to hang up the nunchucks and “keep it moivng.”
IDW gives an official description of the 1st issue of a 4-issue limited series:
HE’S A POWDER KEG OF BLACK FURY THAT’S ABOUT TO EXPLODE! The baddest kung-fu cat to ever appear on screen is coming to comics so you suckers better duck! Former CIA agent, international ladies man, and sworn ass-kicking enemy of The Man… he’s BLACK DYNAMITE-and he’s about to walk into the most dangerous journey of his life!
Black Dynamite is based on the 2009 Michael Jai White film of the same name. Set in the 70s, the film and it seems the book, spoof the blaxploitation films of that era. The issue has a nice frame which finds the titular character in Havana, Cuba in 1976 being surveilled by, one can only assume, someone working for The Man. Between the frame we see Black Dynamite, the longtime hero of his community accused of propagating further violence on the streets by his actions which are aimed to stop it. Black Dynamite, ostracized by those he meant to protect, leaves the community to walk alone.
Writer Brian Ash doesn’t have much room with which to work but he does use the frame very well and it furthers the mood. Given the relative anonymity of the character, a good chunk of the words Ash could use were spent on exposition. Ash did well-enough with what he had left over to set up a series.
Sal Buscema, a long time artist for Marvel, where he regularly drew Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk in the 70s and 80s, gives the characters a definite 70s feel. While there’s little attention paid to backgrounds, the characters are the focus and they are drawn well. Buscema’s details the faces and expressions of the characters, making up for the unfocused backgrounds and giving the story enough emotion in the right places.
A fun trip for fans of the film or of the 70s, Black Dynamite #1 is a nice niche book that is not for everyone and definitely not for the kiddos.