Where we last left Falcon, he and Patriot continued to fight off against Blackheart in Chicago who is bent on corrupting the streets of Chicago. However, Sam Wilson had been sent to hell but with the help of Two Gun and Snap Wilson, an ancestor of his, escaped the wrath of Mephisto and now it’s back to fighting Blackheart-head on.
Admittedly upon hearing about the new Falcon ongoing series the first time, I certainly didn’t expect his first adversary to be Blackheart of all people as I had assumed maybe HYDRA agents or something like that. That and I greatly miss him as Captain America but I suppose Secret Empire put a stop to that despite him putting on the costume again for the last couple of issues of that event. But execution always matters after all.
So in comes Falcon #5 and I quite enjoy it fine. Sometimes the banter can feel off. In fact, some dialogue choices I feel are kind of weird like Blackheart saying “You have been a fly in my ointment” which, don’t know how to feel about him saying that honestly. But what writer Rodney Barnes has done is provide plenty of good character moments and action beats. Like the first couple of pages with Sam Wilson, Patriot and Joaquin, the current other Falcon. You do get the sense of comradely between the three as well as an action set piece involving Falcon punching Blackheart and telling him off.
It’s very standard superhero stuff but it’s fun at the same time, I think writer Rodney Barnes does have a good head on his shoulders especially given the premise of the first arc. You have at one point, Doctor Voodoo confronting Dray, a leader of one of the Chicago gangs, who had made a deal with Blackheart promising everything he desires. The motive is understandable and Voodoo warns him that Blackheart is likely to betray him and such. So I can get behind the simple Faustian-will he or will he not kind of plot.
Barnes despite being new to the comic book scene, seems to at least have a good grasp of how to write comic books as the pacing doesn’t feel off going from page to page and panel to panel. The art by Joshua Cassara certainly helped matters with the shaded look to the proceedings. The art does seem to fit what the book is going so it at least feels very in sync with Barnes’s writing.
And this is just a nitpicking personal thing with me, I’m not sure about the running gag about Patriot suggesting the Joaquin-Falcon a new codename. Like for one, it was fine in the last couple of pages but during the climax of the arc, it had the action screech to a halt a bit. I get what Barnes was going for in that he wanted to emulate the MCU banter which, cool but it didn’t seem to work in this book as much as the films using it perfectly. And two, well this goes along with me wanting Sam Wilson to be Captain America again and Joaquin being Falcon still.
All in all, pretty fun issue to Falcon and a good ending to the first arc. There’s some promise for future stories based on Blackheart and Mephisto’s conversation but there’s also the promise of another type of creature for the next arc and I did appreciate the pun there given I happen to like Wes Craven’s work. Check it out.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review