Written & Directed by Francesco Francavilla
This is the fourth and final issue of the No Way Out mini-series from prolific creator Francesco Francavilla. In this issue we see the gripping climax of a thrilling mystery. We see more of The Black Beetle’s cunning and intelligence in this issue as we find out once and for all who is under the mazed mask of Labyrinto. Although I had already guessed who was under the mask, it was still exciting. The excitement came not from the reveal of the villain but from how The Black Beetle was going to stop him.
Francavilla has cemented himself as an excellent writer with this short series. It is often difficult for talented artists to be taken seriously as writers as well but that will be no problem for Francavilla. He knows how to create tension and excite his readers. I often wondered when reading The Black Beetle why Francavilla doesn’t have more writing gigs. His writing, like his art, is of the highest calibre I have seen in the industry. He writes noir like no other, he can be dark and sombre but light hearted all in the same story. His character, The Black Beetle, became one of my favourites very quickly. In just four issues Francavilla has laid out foundations for a character that could easily have a solo ongoing title at any publisher.
I can’t imagine that Francavilla ever considered letting someone else have art duties on this title. Why would he? This is his baby and only he truly knows how to tell his story. The artwork, as ever, in this issue is too great to describe. I’m no artist but I know good artwork when I see it. Francavilla’s work often leaves me gobsmacked and that was the case with this issue. There are two pages that are just comic book art in its most perfect form. If you’ve read the book then you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t think about The Black Mirror. In my review for Part 3 of 4, I mentioned the change in palette. In this issue Francavilla changes back to his oranges and yellows and still blows me away. His gritty, pulpy, noir style is one to be envied.
I look forward to the return of The Black Beetle later this year.