Overview

The Blackbeard Legacy #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW

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The Blackbeard Legacy #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW

Credits

  • Words: Darren G. Davis and Scott Davis
  • Art: Mike Maydak
  • Inks: Mike Maydak
  • Colors: Mike Maydak
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Alias Enterprises
  • Price: $3.50

The scourge of the seas, the king of the pirates, was once a man named Blackbeard. Is it possible he could be eclipsed by…his daughter?

Readers have already seen the revitalization of a number of different genres in comic books, including zombie horror and westerns. Now Blue Water Productions and Darren and Scott Davis seek to revitalize the pirate genre. Can they succeed?

Hannah Teach is the illegitimate daughter of Edward Teach, famously known as Blackbeard the pirate. Like her father, Hannah has turned to piracy on the high seas to make her way in the world. She has some unresolved "issues" with her father, however, and she intends to deal with the problem at its source – Blackbeard himself. She has to find him first though. Hannah is willing to do anything to reach her goal and that may considerably shorten her lifespan as well as that of her crew. The adventures are just beginning and it may be a long and strange voyage before Blackbeard learns of his legacy.

The Blackbeard Legacy has a lot of things going for it: an attractive, determined, female protagonist, the adventure of the high seas at a time when they were even more dangerous than they are now, and a potential mix of action and comedy. Somehow, though, all of this potential never quite fully mixes and locks into place for the issue.

The Davis’s basic story is interesting as the readers meet Hannah, and learn her story through her own words. The flavor of the pirate dialect is effectively captured in this but without going overboard and pushing the dialogue into ridiculous territory. There are elements of both comedy and action here but never quite enough of either.

When it comes to the action sequences, particularly the fight scenes, there really is no action. Most of the scenes are merely single panels showing the results of the violence. Those that are not put the action in silhouette, which, combined with Mike Maydak’s slightly abstract art style, make the action difficult to discern. Sure, the trick is cute and coy but in the end largely unsatisfying. Even an action-comedy needs some action.

As for the comedy, Hannah has a skewed and fairly piratical way of looking at the world but the character never quite achieves the level of charm required to draw the reader in. I found the blind bounty hunter, Madison, to be more engaging than the main character and was disappointed to see so little of her. In fact, I think the fleshing out of Hannah’s supporting cast would be a great boon for this title.

The Blackbeard Legacy is also somewhat hamstrung by the art. Mike Maydak’s pencils are highly stylized, falling somewhere between cartoon and abstract. It is fascinating to look at and very professionally done, but just not the right fit for the subject matter here. Maydak’s work would be perfect for a science fiction or fantasy title but it feels wrong for historical fiction.

There is great potential with the pirate genre, particularly with Disney’s sequel to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out this summer. Also, the action-comedy style is something that the world of comic books can always use more of. The Blackbeard Legacy has a river of potential to tap into but first it needs to be fully realized.

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