Issue by Issue – Black Condor #7

Writer – Brian Augustyn
Artist – Cooper Smith
Inker – Romeo Tanghal, John Lowe, Charles Barnett
Colours – Eric Kachelhofer
Letters – Gaspar Saladino

There is a forest fire raging and Ned and the rest of the rangers are trying to get everyone out safely when Black Condor arrives. As they work, Ned and Black Condor have a conversation about the animals in the area and what they will end up doing. At that moment, one of those said animals makes their presence known and attacks, more out of fear than anything else. Sadly Condor has to take care of it with a finality that he wishes he did not have to do when he is attacked again, sort of, by a strange creature that shambles out of the forest, knocks him unconscious and carries him off. It is a peculiar sort of affair that Brian Augustyn and artist Cooper Smith introduce and yet they waste no time in getting to the explanation of it all and it involves that which has plagued the planet for quite some time – evil men. These men have a purpose beginning with finding their colleague and his truck, both having gone missing sometime before the fire and it is not long before it is realized that it was the chemicals that were being dumped in the forest illegally that caused it. As for Black Condor, he eventually comes to and has communion with the strange creature, discovering that it is some weird fusion of man, bear and chemical – a monstrosity that should not be alive and a tragedy that never should have happened. Suffice it to say, whatever it is now, Condor shares a kinship with it and when those men from the company they represent show up on the scene, the creature is incensed about it and means to do something about them. Black Condor, for his part, lends a hand. Despite everything that has gone down in this title in the last six issues, the book never hits that level of excitement that it should. This particular story is perhaps the closest that it has come to for there is always room for a good monster story no matter the book. Augustyn hits all the right notes and gives it a fair shake of tension and horror with just a touch of sadness to make for a compelling read. Hopefully, the stories that follow in this title tread a similar path, in terms of want and need as so far, everything that has happened thus far has simply been good instead of great.

3.5 out of 5

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