How An Era Changes: ‘Black Terror #5’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Bob Benton, aka the Black Terror, goes to visit an old flame of his: Myrna. Bob doesn’t age, but Myrna has. What seems to be a cordial visit turns hostile quickly when Myrna slaps Bob. It gets worse when Bob meets his son, Robby. Well…Robby isn’t quite Bob’s son in the traditional sense. Robby is cold towards Bob as well and Bob explains his last fight as Black Terror against Doctor Disgusting and how it relates to who and what Robby really is to Bob.

Black Terror #5 cover by Rahzzah
Black Terror #5 cover by Rahzzah

Dynamite Entertainment’s Black Terror under writer Max Bemis may be among the strangest superhero comics on the market–if not just one of the strangest comics on the market period. Bemis has taken what was once a sort of Golden Age throwback aspect of Dynamite and turned it into an exploration of superhero comic tropes, cliches, and habits. Those explorations often turn perverse, uncomfortable, and downright captivating.

Black Terror #5 proves no different. Bob Benton turns out to be a deadbeat dad, but that’s far from the most scandalous aspect of the book. We also learn how tormented Bob is and how he hoped that his meeting with his son could help him rectify past mistakes and make a better future.

I am reluctant to dive further into the details lest I spoil the especially bizarre twist of this issue. That said, I will say that this book touches on those sudden and vast character shifts Big Two characters have whenever a new writer and/or trend takes over. It’s smart, uncomfortable, and engrossing.

Ruairí Coleman makes this another slick, well-detailed, and all-around gorgeous issue. The book is dripping with charm and the characters are aptly emotive–especially considering what they learn from Bob in this issue. Color artist Brittany Pezzillo ensures that the book is vibrant and pops off the page with ease.

Black Terror #5 is another strange and absorbing issue for this Project Superpowers character. We learn the strange things that happen to an unaging Golden Age superhero as they try to navigate the decades that follow. It’s thoughtful, emotional, and downright brilliant. This one gets a recommendation for sure. Give it a read.

Black Terror #5 comes to us from writer Max Bemis, artist Ruairí Coleman, color artist Brittany Pezzillo, letterer Taylor Esposito, cover artist Rahzzah, and variant cover artists Jorge Fornés; and Ruairí Coleman with Timothy C. Brown.

Final Score: 9/10

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