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Francesco Francavilla’s ‘The Black Beetle’ Returns This Fall With ‘Necrologue’
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Francesco Francavilla‘s The Black Beetle comic book series will return this Fall with a new horror tale, the miniseries The Black Beetle: Necrologue.

The Black Beetle first came to Dark Horse in 2012 with a 24-page story called “Night Shift” in Dark Horse Dark Horse Presents #11. From there, the masked pulp hero of Colt City got his first limited solo series, the four-issue The Black Beetle: No Way Out, launched in January 2013. The Black Beetle: Volume 1: No Way Out, the hardcover collecting all four issues plus the “Night Shift” story, will be released in October and is available now for pre-order.

The Black Beetle: Necrologue #1, which will be released on October 23, 2013, is now available for pre-order online.

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Comic Review: The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
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The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
Story & Art by Francesco Francavilla
Lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The Black Beetle #4 is the EPIC conclusion to the first miniseries for Francesco Francavilla‘s creation. I’m very happy to say, it measures up to the previous three issues.

Writer and artist Francesco Francavilla wraps up this excellent miniseries with more of the same – excellence. I have to tell you, even though I’ve been reading this character for four issues, it really feels like I’m very familiar with The Beetle and his universe. It’s like when you read a comic that you haven’t read in years and a wave of nostalgia comes rushing back. While I won’t spoil it, this issue is full of really shocking resolutions to the mysteries that have been running in the book, and, of course, leaves the door open for The Black Beetle’s next miniseries.

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Comic Review: The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2
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The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2
Story & Art by Francesco Francavilla
Lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
Editor: Jim Gibbons
Designers: Justine Couch & Francesco Francavilla
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 20, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The Black Beetle #2 is pretty much the same as issue #0 and #1 – AWESOME!!! I’m not sure when it became hip to do pulp characters, but I’m very grateful that it did. It is because of this that we’re getting some of the best comics that have been published in years, and this book is no exception to that rule.

First, let’s talk about Francesco Francavilla the writer. First off, you can tell that this is a total labor of love by Francavilla, and it shows in every way possible. The story is well told, and fits right into the world of the pulpy era of days long gone by. I don’t know what it is about that era, but Francavilla writes it like he actually lived through it. This issue is pretty much all action and it’s fast paced, intense, and gives you a real sense of danger for the character. Also, there’s an actual SUPER VILLAIN in this issue. Not just some gangster in a suit and fedora. Another nice touch by Francavilla.

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Comic Review: The Black Beetle: No Way Out #1
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The Black Beetle: No Way Out #1
Written by Francesco Francavilla
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 16, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

I know it’s pretty early in the game, but I’m willing to bet that The Black Beetle: No Way Out #1 is going to be nominated for at LEAST one Eisner award. This is one of the best comics that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. And I can’t see any of the following issues declining in quality at all.

Francesco Francavilla crafts an absolutely perfect take of an old time pulp hero. He’s one with flaws. I don’t mean he’s crazy of drunk or a pervert flawed; I mean that’s he’s not the perfect hero flawed. He falls, he misjudges things, he’s not like Batman who can hit a man on a motorcycle from 100 yards away with a gas pellet. He’s got a neat array of gadgets and toys that help him fight crime, but he’s not a perfect super hero…yet. This is a great mix of crime noir drama mixed with pulp hero action. The only thing missing? A secret identity. That was touched upon in the Black Beetle #0 issue, but not much. It’s a very interesting turn on the genre. Most of the pulp books feature heroes with millionaire (this IS the 30s & 40s) playboy secret ids, but here, there’s none of that, and honestly, I found myself not missing it. Again, this is a GREAT crime/mystery/thriller. Very well written with a great plot.

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Exclusive: First Look At 8 Upcoming Covers From Dark Horse Comics
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We’re back again with an exclusive first look at a bunch of covers courtesy of our friends at Dark Horse comics. First we have the regular cover for Amalia’s Blade #1 by Michael Dialynas as well as a variant cover by Guy Davis. Then we’ve got two series that wrap up in April with their fourth issues — The Answer! #4 by Mike Norton and The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 by Francesco Francavilla.

Then we’ve got covers for four collections hitting stores in June. Check out The Victories, Volume 1 by Michael Avon Oeming, collecting the five issue superhero/sci-fi adventure miniseries. Next we have the first volume of The Original Daredevil Archives collecting the first four issues of the golden age classic. Then there’s Forbidden World Archives, Volume 2, collecting the weird and wonderful anthology of science fiction and supernatural fantasy. Finally, there’s the next in the long line of Dark Horse’s Creepy Archives, Volume 16 featuring work by Alex Toth, Wally Wood, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, and Richard Corben.

All this and more can be had, and all you have to do is pre-order them with your friendly neighborhood comic book dispenser.

Now, check these covers out right here after the jump.

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