This is the first comic I’ve ever reviewed, hell even read at all, from Black Mask, so I wasn”t really sure what was to come. I’m fairly comfortable that any comic company can release a good story, but I’ve never actually been interested in a comic the way this one caught my eye. The cover itself was very captivating, causing me to take a second look and give it a chance. Visually it did exactly what it should, draw you in.
Writer Ryan K Lindsay and artist Sami Kivela paired up their talents to work on Beautiful Canvas. The title itself does well for the premise of the comic, as Lon Eisley is a hitwoman who paints canvasses in brain matter across the wall. Hired to take out a drug pusher, she does so very efficiently. The twist of the woman’s toddler son walking in AND thanking Lon for killing her, shows us that she is either slowly going crazy, or she has a massive bleeding heart for children. To be honest, it could be a little of both.
Along the journey to start our story, there are a lot of flashbacks to a man and a child (little girl) who are both dead. I am quite sure it will tie in at some point, but for now we just get bits and pieces. Flashbacks of a hit I imagine, or possibly her own family murdered. Either way, it is a grisly scene of desperation.
Alex, the little boy she rescued goes across country with her in her travels, but we soon find out it was actually him who was the target. What kind of sadistic maniac would target a child? That takes a special kind of jackass, whom we find out before the end of the issue.
This comic has an amazing style of writing, with Lindsay having the ability to entrap you. The story itself, while constantly evolving, does so in a way that still has it making sense. It is easy to follow, not too wordy, and just the right amount of explanation vs. dialogue. A lot of writers struggle to find that sweet spot, but Lindsay seems to have no trouble at all.
The artwork is a whole other thing. It is dirty while being clean, which is extremely hard to picture. It works well with the dark and murderous tone of this comic, laying in with the fact that there are a slew of assassins and hitmen/women all trying to take on the same contracts. They all want that paycheck, and Kivela does an amazing job at being able to differentiate them all.
RECOMMENDATION : This comic is best read by anyone who is a fan of a more realistic style of writing, drama comics, and major action/adventure series as well. You should give this one a read though, it will be worth the time.
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