Review: Blackjack: Second Bite Of The Cobra
When it comes to “swashbuckler” adventures, so there are not too many names as synonymous with that genre than Edgar Rice Burroughs. His stories are what George Lucas and Stephen Speilberg had in mind when they brought Indiana Jones to the big screen. His imprint is all over the genre and has endured despite the many anachronistic tropes that has plagued including the “foreign trickster” stereotype. Thankfully, many of those fans who have continued the tradition do not entertain such outdated and at times racist landmines.
Many of those stories featured people of color in a few categories. They were the villains or the minions of the villain or an ally/sidekick of the protagonist. Or worse, the victim of the villain. The roles furthered the narrative of the “untamed savage” as many of Burroughs’ stories, as well as his contemporaries, never had a person of color as a protagonist. It wasn’t until Rick Riordan, that some of that void was filled in mainstream media. In the debut issue of Blackjack: Second Bite Of The Cobra, we find Arron Day AKA Blackjack, seeking revenge in the only place he called home.
We are taken to 1918 Cairo, where Arron’s father, Mad Dog, a veteran of countless wars, finds himself toe to toe with a warlord, known only as The Cobra as he and his friend, Silas Lincoln, were able to beat back his men, but was not able to defeat him completely, as he vanished from existence . Unfortunately for Mad Dog his days were numbered as a mysterious force killed him in cold blood years later in Spain. As the Cobra’s wraths strikes again, reaching a grown-up Arron in Harlem, New York, where is he a wealthy estate holder, and is given word by his father’s old friend, Silas. By issue’s end, Cobra unleashes his men on Blackjack ad his cohorts, leading to an all-out fight.
Overall, an exciting first chapter in a hero that seems out of time but more than likely true to life than most would admit. The story by Alex Simmons is smart, intense and well developed. The art by Joe Bennett is gorgeous. Altogether, a great story that should gain this series more readers.
Story: Alex Simmons Art: Joe Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy