On a dangerous extraction mission in Pakistan, the Black Badge team is forced to see the terrible consequences of war, and the people who get lost in the battle of nations.
In Black Badge #3, the troop is in deep. Not only have the mini Mounties ratted them out for “irregularities” during their last mission, the Badges’ faces made the rounds in worldwide media. Not for being highly trained ninja spies, but for being plucky kids that survived a train wreck in the frozen Siberian tundra. That spin probably saved their jobs, maybe saved their lives, but wasn’t enough to keep them away from the consequences of potentially having been made.
This chapter finally widens the shot and gives a look into the structure of the Black Badge program and hints at even wider implications than were first mentioned in the last chapter. The kids are sent back to remedial training at an insane facility that can’t possibly have been built for just the four of them.
If I had a (small) complaint about the first two chapters, it would only have been that the pacing didn’t allow for any real character work. Chapters 1 and 2 read like an oversized first issue, which actually worked out fine, because chapter three is the payoff. By sending the kids back to camp to fine-tune their murder muscles, Matt Kindt found a way to slow things up for a minute so we could get to know the kids. Pay attention, though, because there’s a lot to unpack in those nine pages before all hell breaks loose again.
The artwork is amazing, as usual. Tyler and Hilary Jenkins’ combined efforts are amazingly well suited to Black Badge. There’s also a cool little visual Easter Egg in this chapter. The Jenkins slipped in a nod to their personal history. Camp Wayward is loosely based on Hilary’s hometown. If you look closely, you can even spot the tiny cape where the pair exchanged their wedding vows (north of the dock, behind the Theoretical Training Centre).
In classic Kindt/Jenkins fashion, Black Badge #3 delivers as many new questions as answers, and we barely get time to process the new info before heading straight into what sounds like a Lord of the Flies/Hunger Games melee on the black sand beaches of Hawai’i in chapter 4.
Black Badge #3, Published by Boom! Studios, released on the 17th of October 2018. Written by Matt Kindt, illustrated by Tyler Jenkins, colors by Hilary Jenkins, letters by Jim Campbell, covers available by Matt Kindt, Tyler/Hilary Jenkins, and Trevor Hairsine/Alex Guimaraes.