The final issue of the Blackburn Burrow free miniseries from Amazon Studios and 12-Gauge Comics is as completely readable as the earlier issues in the series, itself an interesting experiment in testing the waters for a potential movie. With such talent as Ron Marz on writing and Matthew Dow Smith handling art, it comes as little surprise that this comic book translation of a script by J.H. Levy is quite fine as a temporary (and, let’s not forget, free) distraction.
In case you haven’t read the earlier issues (or Fanboy Comics’ previous coverage of them), Blackburn Burrow tells an episode in the life of mysterious monster-hunting stranger Mister, no other name given, during the Civil War, with some obligatory romance and daddy issues that any movie based on this story would have to contain. The climax of the series tasks Mister and his new ally Merrin with putting a stop to the awakening of the somewhat Lovecraftian Elder God-esque Kulkukan and its army of mutated dead. Oh, and there’s a clash between Union and Confederate soldiers nearby, engineered to provide Kulkukan with plenty of dead bodies to resurrect.
The whole setup is interesting enough, and for a little while this climactic issue is kind of exciting. Like the rest of the series, it feels pretty by the numbers, complete with a kind of weak explanation for how a Mesoamerican deity came to be buried in Georgia, but it’s not too bad to read or look at. If the ultimate resolution feels a bit too easy and a bit too . . . well, like a movie, it helps to remind yourself that, hey, you didn’t pay anything to read it.
In the final analysis, there’re definitely plenty of less fun comics out there, and ones with price tags, by the way. But, Blackburn Burrow feels pretty humdrum, some good ideas, perhaps a little too decompressed, a little too packaged for the most mass market audience possible. One gets the impression that if it weren’t trying to be a marketable movie, this story could probably go to some more interesting places than it does.