Black Badge by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Hilary Jenkins is just getting warmed up. Gone is the episodic feel of the first three issues, as the hyper-advanced boy scout soldiers begin to unravel a mystery that has already begun to shake their foundations as a no-questions-asked team. With some serious revelations come larger questions and an expanded universe of characters.
The biggest question that loomed over the first three issues of this adventure series was this: How did Jimmy, a previous member of the Black Badge, die? It’s a question asked countless times by the new Badge, Willy, who is still trying to find his place in the group. To a degree, Kindt has answered that question, and, thankfully, he has, because it has opened up the story in countless ways. Now, we don’t know who to trust, only that there’s something at stake beyond the next mission. This is the issue I became excited about Black Badge and not just a reader, but in trusting the creators.
Issue four is split into two sections, with the story partly involving the discovery of what happened to Jimmy, and partyly back at base as the members of the Black Badge are invited to a very special, but very dangerous, jamboree. If the game of continuing to incorporate boy scout motifs into a political espionage story doesn’t tickle you, then I don’t know what will. As our Black Badge team finds themselves at the jamboree, we’re introduced to other Badge groups, each with a designated specialty: the Blue Badge, the White Badge, and the Pink Badge. I’ll let you discover their jobs as teams. Either these different groups will become enemies or comrades to our heroic five.
There are some other surprises that have piqued my interest. One big one is the specific reference to Kindt and the Jenkins’ other book, The Grass Kings. With the wink-wink layout and design of the added features in this book, it makes me wonder if all of Kindt’s recent creator-owned books all take place in the same world. Imagine Black Badge and Mind MGMT running across each other!
If you haven’t jumped on board this train yet, now’s the time to do it.
Also, A+ for the Bladerunner reference.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story), Tyler Jenkins (art), Hilary Jenkins (colors), Jim Campbell (letters), Eric Harburn (editor), Scott Newman (designer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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