JD reviews BLACK METAL Book One!

Title: Black Metal Book One
Writer: Rick Spears
Artist: Chuck BB
Publisher: Oni Press
Reviewed by Johnny Destructo
There was a time when I looked forward to Oni Press comics more than anything else on the shelves. Having grown up on mainstream superhero comics, it was a revelation to me that there were indy folks doing fun and original work, and that you didn’t need to draw like Jim Lee to draw comics. Chynna Clugston, Scott Morse, Christine Norrie and Steve Rolston were just a lump of talent that made me excited for indy comics, but to be honest, I haven’t really thought about Oni for the past couple of years (except for Scott Pilgrim, obviously!) until I came across Black Metal this week. Published back in 2007, I am clearly late to the game on this one.
At first, I was slightly put off by the over-the-top goth-speak that permeates through this book. And no offense, Black Metal-ers….but make no mistake: it IS goth-speak.

“Well, Let’s hope our luck holds through this dark winter dubbed Junior High.”
See what I mean? Having grown up on a steady diet of punk rock, I never really glommed onto the whole goth/metal/emo scenes. They just felt so pretentious and silly, and I almost put this book down after a few pages, convinced that this was more of the same. Then I realized this was less serious and more in line with the Jack Black/Tenacious D shtick. If you love that, and are seeking more of it, this is the book for you.
At the start, when the story takes place in a Junior High setting, I was quickly getting bored. I thought that the Stronghand twins would be better served as secondary characters in a different book, that maybe this one shtick pony wasn’t enough to carry an entire series, but the more I read, the more I started to enjoy their overly earnest Metal antics. And Rick Spears did the characters a solid by quickly moving them from that setting and delving into the underworld and the secret origin of their birth!
While I did really enjoy looking at Chuck BB’s artwork, the writing of this book never leaped past the “oh that’s funny” stage into actually making me laugh out loud, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t raised in this particular sub-genre of music. I’m barely metal enough for one finger, whereas this is for all those that are TOO metal for one hand.

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