Feb 7, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 713: Dark Adventures #4, September 1987

https://www.comics.org/issue/274848/

The life of a public domain superhero is a strange one. Bob Benton, aka The Black Terror, has been around since 1941, fighting Nazis, Communists, and supervillains. He's been resurrected in recent years by the likes of Alex Ross and Alan Moore, as well as having had a fairly prosperous career in the mid-80s during the black and white indie golden age. Today's comic is one of those, and the only appearance, as far as I can tell, of this particular revival of the character. The art in the comic is quite well-rendered, though it varies from page to page. There's a particular spread in the middle that actually looks like it might have been reproduced from a rough layout of what was supposed to be there, or from uninked pencils, but aside from that it looks pretty much like a superhero comic. A strange thing for someone like me to say, I guess, but true nonetheless. The script is so-so, a little awkward and stilted, though the framing sequence is quite lovely. The Terror Knight's old partner, now confined to a wheelchair and quite old, is telling the story of the Terror Knight's revival to someone over the phone. Only at the end of the story do we find out it's a speaking clock he's talking to. He just needs to tell someone about the madness that is his life, a madness he can't escape.

I looked up the history of the Black Terror, and he's gone through a vast number of publishers over the last 70 years. Undoubtedly, we'll see yet another version rear up in the near future.

To be continued.

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