Living It All Over Again With Black Terror #3

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The Superpowers were gone, but now they’re back–and we see some of the side-effects of this time disruption. This time, we see how it affected the life of Kid Terror, aka Tim Roland. He was reincarnated in his child form with full memory of his life before. The world seemed to force him to stick to the script, even though he had to perceive it as a 70-year-old former superhero. Eventually, the time came that he could become Kid Terror, sidekick to the Black Terror. No one, including the Superpowers, believed what Tim said about having a life before this one. By the time that Tim joins the Teen Troupe, he’s truly tired of playing at being the kid-sidekick (though he was 35 in this new life, his powers had kept him from aging). He ignores the team, but this has dire consequences for the Teen Troupe.

Black Terror #3 cover by Rahzzah
Black Terror #3 cover by Rahzzah

Black Terror #3 focuses on Kid Terror and his resurrection from Pandora’s Urn. Much of the book is a longform criticism of Marvel and DC reboots (even Pandora’s Urn shares some similarities to the Ragnarok that once imprisoned DC’s Justice Society of America). 

Kid Terror experiences much of this with a cynical remove. He’s seen it all before, it seems goofy to him now, and no one will believe that he’s seen the future.

It all seems exceedingly nightmarish. Tim knows the future, no one believes that he’s been through all of this already, and even his attempts at changing fate are futile. There’s a hint of Kid Miracleman from Alan Moore and Gary Leach’s Miracleman in Kid Terror here. I’m inclined to believe that’s foreshadowing what’s to come.

The cynical tone of Tim is shared by the comic itself. Shockingly violent events are laughed off by the book. The big brutal turn of the book almost passes without note–which even that could be a critique of how the Big Two have treated “mature content” at many points.

Black Terror #3 art by Ruairí Coleman, Brittany Pezzillo, and letterer Taylor Esposito
Black Terror #3 art by Ruairí Coleman, Brittany Pezzillo, and letterer Taylor Esposito

Ruairí Coleman gives the book a sleek and appealing aesthetic. It serves the comedy well and makes the gory scenes even more shocking. Kid Terror’s costume looks great, and the action scenes are slick. Brittany Pezzillo’s color art pops off the page well and looks great.

Black Terror #3 is a bizarre, cynical, yet somewhat ambitious takedown of the Big Two, their reboots, and their attempts at tackling “mature” ideas. It’s shocking, funny, and a little off-putting. I find myself having to give it a strong recommendation, especially if you’re a lifelong follower of Marvel and DC like myself. It’s definitely unique and pretty damn spot-on in its criticism. Check this one out.

Black Terror #3 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 Eoin Marron with Chris O’Halloran.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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