Young Terrorists #1 (Black Mask)

Young Terrorists1

Rating: 5/5 – Violent Sexy Social Commentary in an Action/Drama Wrapper.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Matt Pizzolo takes a lot of comics real estate to establish the framework for this series in this 80 page 1st issue.  Let that sink in.  80 pages. 
Pizzolo takes his time in establishing the characters and a world that’s a little too close to the world outside our door for my absolute comfort.  But it’s a work of fiction and the names have been changed to protect the guilty.  On the editorial page at the end Pizzolo says “Nothing in this book is true, but it’s all True.”  I love that.

I look at the first 20 or so pages, introducing the main character Sera and the events that shape her as a character.  This would have made a damn fine 1st issue and would have had me coming back for more.  Then I look at the next 20 or so pages introducing Cesar.  Not as strong as the Sera intro, but still some damn fine comics.  Then the final third of the issue introducing us to the Sovereign State of Greater Detroit.  This ties the 1st 2 parts together and introduces more layers of characterization, new characters, and more glimpses into the world these people live in, how they’re affected by it, and in turn both how they ARE affecting it and just a bit of a glimpse into how they hope they might change it in more significant ways.

Any one of the 3 parts of this mega-issue could have stood on it’s own as a$3.99 comic and I’d have gladly read them on 3 consecutive months as issues 1, 2, and 3.  That Pizzolo put them all together into a big issue to get us up to speed in one massive dose makes this all the better.  Is it perfect?  Alas, no.  Even at 80 pages there are things that slip through the cracks that I’d have loved to see expanded on.  But that’s a good thing, it leaves some room for flashbacks and additional storytelling in future issues.  This was easily in the top 10% of comics I’ve read so it gets a 5/5 rating with no reservations.  Young Terrorists #1 is something special.   Equal parts social commentary and entertainment, this has cemented a slot on my “must read” list.  I can’t wait for issue #2.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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