With luck, he’ll figure out this suit before it kills him.
Story: Frank Barbiere / Randy Stradley
Pencils: Colin Lorimer / Doug Wheatley
What They Say:
The search for Scott Travers’s missing benefactor has turned up nothing but mystery and even more trouble. And this time he’s up against eight-feet-tall, cheetah-fast, bulldozer- strong, plasma-cannon-wielding, made-of-metal trouble. Good thing there are “only” three of them . . . for now!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While most superhero origin stories are ones that involve a good bit of angst and difficulty, watching Scott Travers take on the Blackout suit has left us with someone who isn’t quite sure what he wants to do. This is more of a normal origin story in the last couple of decades as we get the reluctant hero, one who starts off more with self interest than anything else, rather than someone who just outright realizes the good that can be done. Considering what Scott has been involved with since first getting it though, it’s at least understandable. And he’s being a bit smart in trying to figure out how to work it in the desert with a friend so that he can makes mistakes without killing anyone or causing lots of damage. Of course, the biggest mistake was not figuring out the power source right from the start since that’s put him in quite the pickle that he’s in now.
But that being trapped in the cold space between offers a slice of his past for us, an idea as to why he may not be so keen on spaces like this but also find a kind of subconscious comfort in them as we get a look at a little bit of his traumatic childhood past. That’s to be dealt with more another time though as the pressing matter is the fact that the suit is going to die out and he can sense the cold closing in on him and he can’t reach Ash on the other side without being able to open a portal. What becomes interesting is that we do see how the suit can power itself up again and that makes for some neat things in how it operates as a whole, and why it wasn’t an issue in all the time he was running around in the office buildings and labs. Hopefully we’ll get a bit more on this, but for the most part you hope that Scott actually figures out how to read the power meter on the suit before he gets into a tough spot again.
Every road keeps leading back to Mechatronics though as it seems like all the answers are there, but it also feels like there isn’t anyone there that he can really latch onto in order to get them. Luckily for him, things are going badly there for the research team as they’re realizing what their developments are going to be used for. Though it wasn’t entirely expected from the start, it’s good to see Luca figuring out that this isn’t the place to be and she’s doing what she can to get out of it. But it’s also not a surprise that it won’t be easy to do so, which is why there’s potential for a decent working relationship with Scott if they actually survive this. But with the way Luca is, you can see it being really contentious, which could make it rather interesting to unfold, particularly with her own fear of the cold that’s likely doubled since he tossed her into the portal space previously.
The book gives us some decent action as Scott of course finds himself up against the new powered up superiors that have taken over the facility and that makes for some fun bits. A lot of it just comes down to the fact that he’s starting to get a handle on his abilities and using them in a smart way to both be on the offensive and defensive. But there’s still only so much he can do, so it’s good to see he’s just not flat out overpowering everyone and going on his merry way. Instead, there’s challenges with the trio that are now all souped up and Luca herself isn’t going to give him an easy time either.
With the King Tiger moving its own events forward slightly with the demon inside being more forceful, we get a decent backup story that I still find myself wishing it had just gotten a standalone one-shot released instead. Blackout’s story continues to feel a little haphazard in some ways because it felt like it didn’t start us a good place and I’m still not on board with Scott as a character. But events are starting to come together a bit more for forming him and his use of the suit and that goes a good ways towards making him a bit more interesting by being proactive instead of reactive. The back and forth with Mechatronics has been a real problem point, but with him back there now and facing off against the big bads with just one more issue to go, the character should be decently cemented from there on out.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 4th, 2014