Warren Ellis pulls back the curtain of mystery and reveals quite a bit about the ghosts and apparent supernatural occurrences, while also revealing the pattern of the murderer who is headed straight for Blackcross. Is it good?
Project Superpowers: Blackcross #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Project Superpowers: Blackcross #3 does not start off on the best of notes: with a big grammar error right smack on the first page in the second sentence. After this jarring mistake, Warren Ellis reveals the nature of the ghosts who have been making appearances throughout the first two issues. He does so through two separate conversations.
The first conversation takes place between Marietta, a fake medium, and Rob Benton, the victim of a gas bomb attack who is in Blackcross as part of a witness protection program. The dialogue is choppy and it feels as if Ellis edited a bunch of the conversation out. Marietta goes from asking whether or not something feels different inside of Benton to “Do you think the ghost looks like you?” Benton answers the first question with “Not exactly.” If you think that is confusing, it is because it does not flow at all. A more proper secondary question might have been,”Can you see the ghost hovering above your body?” which could then be followed up with, “Do you think he looks like you?”
The dialogue doesn’t improve. Marietta even makes a statement confirming there is a ghost inside Benton, however, this is proven false because the next two panels show the ghost entering him and on the previous page the ghost was shown hovering above his body! Not sure if this is on Ellis or Colton Worley, but these panels are out of place and probably should have been switched up. Ellis even tries to make a joke about vitamins in gas bombs. It’s not funny at all and falls flat.
If you thought the first conversation was rough, the second one is even worse. Without getting too far into the weeds, the local Sheriff’s office is being briefed on Rob Benton and the many coincidences surrounding Blackcross as well as the serial killer making his way to town. The briefing beats around the bush and, once it finally gets to the point, it regurgitates quite a bit of information we as the readers already know.
There are some positives. Ellis does a good job of introducing a new character, Jeff Dumont, although his interaction with an old friend is quite awkward. It goes from joy to seeing an old face to I gotta get the hell out of here, but no clue what for. Once you get past this scene and Jeff is alone is where Ellis really introduces us to the character and lets us get inside his head a little bit. Not only do we get inside his head, but Ellis uses this as an opportunity to really flesh out what is happening with the ghosts and Blackcross. It is definitely an interesting take and something to look forward to in the upcoming issues.
Colton Worley’s artwork neither has any fear-invoking scenes like the first issue with a man burning himself alive nor awe-inspiring action like the man destroying a car from the second issue. Instead, Worley focuses on facial features and body language and it is hit or miss. He does a great job showing the Sheriff’s frustration as he rises out of his seat and gets in the FBI agent’s face. However, he gives Jeff Dumont the goofiest grin as he encounters an old friend. The one action sequence is thrilling and Worley employs a number of inset panels to quicken the pace and highlight the height of the action. He has one huge splash panel that will definitely be a candidate for Panels in Poor Taste!
Is It Good?
Project Superpowers: Blackcross takes away quite a bit of the mystery Ellis had been building by revealing who and what the ghosts are. However, despite this plot revelation, the dialogue and writing are subpar with the conversation lacking flow. Entire questions that should be in place are absent. Worley’s artwork is not inspiring. There are a couple of cool splash pages, but otherwise the facial features and body language are hit or miss. This is the second issue in a row that hasn’t delivered. I am coming to the conclusion that, if you are going to buy this one you should wait for the trade because the single issues just aren’t that good.