‘The Black Order’ #1 advance review: Quirky, action packed fun



The villains made famous in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ get their own book.

The newest series out of Marvel Comics arrives tomorrow and it’s largely thanks to Avengers: Infinity War that it exists at all. Originally a Jonathan Hickman creation, the new film has given the Black Order characters a new reason to exist with fresh-faced readers potentially picking up the series.

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

Why does this matter?

This new miniseries is the only place to get a closer look at these characters which include Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Black Dwarf, Proxima Midnight, and Black Swan (who didn’t appear in the films). This is a crew of badass villains who are somewhat on their own wreaking havoc, seemingly out of boredom, but through this adventure writer Derek Landy and artist Philip Tan attempt to breathe new life into the characters.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

You’re going to be surprised how interesting Glaive is in this one. Credit: Marvel Comics

I wasn’t sure what to expect from these characters, particularly because we haven’t seen them in the comics for some time. The creators are well aware of that, making this story very accessible to new readers. We know they are nearly unstoppable, but aside from being incredibly badass and evil, we don’t know much which gives this book a bit of purpose. After reading this issue you’ll learn about how they interact as well as get some new insight into Corvus Glaive, who narrates the book.

It’s a ragtag group to be sure, on a mission to destroy the foundations of a leader in an unknown star system. Because the king they are dismantling is a gross and moronic character–we get a quirky and entertaining scene with him midway through–the Black Order actually comes off as somewhat heroic. Derek Landy extends this quirkiness to Glaive who has an interesting desire to be funny. Given how ruthless and evil he has been, this character choice adds a bit of fun and silliness to the story. It’s an interesting choice that ultimately humanizes the character and brings him down from unstoppable alien monster to a level that’s quirky and relatable.

Tan does a great job on art with colors by Ja David Ramos. Aliens and their tech look unique and strange, further separating this story from your usual Marvel book. There’s plenty of fighting too and the powers of each character are well rendered and help identify how this group as a whole is extremely dangerous. There’s a ’90s feel to the art that older fans are going to pick up on and enjoy.

Black Swan is a character I think many Hickman fans are going to want to see more of. Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

This issue doesn’t give a definitive reason why the story needs to be told. It doesn’t relate to any other book and there are no cameos. It’s a perfectly fine story on its own, but these characters are so unfamiliar for most I suspect many will approach it either because they like the cosmic side of Marvel Comics, or they want to read more about these characters that were featured in the films. There are most likely surprises in store for readers as the story carries forward, but it’s not a must buy.

Is it good?

I liked this issue and have high hopes for where Tan and Landy take this tale. It’s not necessarily a story that needs to be told, but it’s a fun take on a group of characters that are usually hyper-serious. The art is fun too, with a ’90s vibe many will love.

The Black Order #1
Is it good?
I liked this issue and have high hopes for where Tan and Landy will take this tale. It's not necessarily a story that needs to be told, but it's a fun take on a group of characters that are usually hyper-serious. The art is fun too, with a '90s vibe many will love.
An interesting take on Corvus and a fun first issue that explores this semi-unknown team
Tan's art is detailed and captures the powers of the characters well
Makes a good argument we can root for the villains sometimes
The book doesn't make a strong case for why it exists or how it ties into the bigger Marvel universe, making it a tough buy for many
9
Great