12 Reasons To Die #1 (Black Mask)

12Reasons

Rating: 3.5/5 – Gangsters, ominous records & sheep

I’m not a follower of his music, so I took this crime-mixed-with-the-supernatural tale from Ghostface Killah and a large ensemble cast of writers & artists at face value based on what was given me in this issue.

There is a pretty standard opening with a crew of Mafia-types and just when you think it’s going to be one thing, you get hit with a curve and it’s something else entirely.  Yes, the SHEEP!   What the heck was that?   Was I actually seeing this?  It certainly got my attention and you have to read it to get the context.

It makes sense, given the profession of the creative force behind this, that music would play into it somewhere, I was surprised & pleased at the very unique twist that brought that musical element into the story.   The problem I had was in the pacing of this as a 1st issue.  I’d have liked a bit more context to the records & why they are being sought, I can fill in the blanks and can appreciate the mystery being built, but having a few more tangible story beats in the 1st issue to get me solidly behind buying #2 would have been appreciated.

I’m also a bit conflicted on the mixed bag of artists in this issue.  I’d rather have seen this limited to 1 or 2 who were a bit stronger at panel-to-panel storytelling.

A good effort from Black Mask out of the gate, though.  I look forward to seeing the company grow and hope it finds an audience beyond the typical comic shop customers.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – bob@comicspectrum.com
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