Comic Book Reviews: ‘Black Badge’ and ‘Hillbilly: Red-Eyed Witchery
 From Beyond’

‘Black Badge’ No. 1
Writer Matt Kindt and artist Tyler Jenkins
Review by Meredith Harris, The Great Escape Louisville

Kids get lost, kids get scared, and kids get protected by their parents all the time. Kids are, for all intents and purposes, harmless. If those kids were a black ops team of Boy Scouts, though, what then?

Teaming up once again, writer Matt Kindt and artist Tyler Jenkins drop us in Seoul, South Korea, to meet the Black Badges, a top-secret branch of Boy Scouts given covert missions, by the government, that no adult could ever accomplish. The team avoids suspicion by playing the “we’re just a group of lost tourist kids” card, highlighting how unassuming this its members can and will be.

Like most of Kindt’s first issues, this one could almost be a one and done. He has a habit of setting up the first issue as a complete story that gives you an idea about the rest of the story, but Black Badge is more than enticing enough to keep coming back. Knowing I’m going to be treated to such a layered plot, heavy on the interpersonal drama and filled with ethical debate, leaves me counting down for new issues.

Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins have knocked it out of the park with this one. Issues No. 1 and No. 2 are out now, issue No. 3 should be out Oct. 17! •


‘Hillbilly: Red-Eyed Witchery
 From Beyond’ No. 1
Writer Eric Powell and artist Simone Di Meo
Review by Krystal Moore, The Great Escape Louisville

The Hillbilly of this story is known by many names, such as the Black Eyed Wanderer and Rondel the Witch Hunter. He’s a legend of the backwoods, roaming the land with his cleaver and helping out those in need of assistance.

This four-part series opens in space. We see that something is coming to Earth, and it’s witnessed by two moonshiners having a taste of their own wares and watching a “falling star” tumble into the hills. They have a quick discussion about whether it’s diamonds, as Granny tells them, or if it’s the Devil. Devil is much closer to what they find. Enter the Hillbilly, and the two lucky fellows manage to escape. But the story then turns into something else.

What follows is a tale of family, mystery and betrayal. Rondel is told a story of something coming out of the sky and bringing with it the Wood Boogers, hairy creatures that have terrorized the area.

The story is written by Eric Powell with art and colors by Simone DiMeo and Brennan Wagner. They give the book an earthy look and feel that’s perfect for its setting and characters. Naturally, the story ends on a cliffhanger, so I’ll be looking forward to issue No. 2 this week! •