Released: 2007, Oni Press
I used to buy and read comics a lot as a kid. Over time I stopped but I still buy Heavy Metal related comics which lead me to buy BLACK METAL back in 2007. I bought it, read it and enjoyed it. Its a two-part comic with a cliffhanger ending so I kept going back to the store and checking online to see when Part Two would be out. After about three years went by I just kinda forgot about it except when I would flip through it once or twice a year. Out of nowhere Part Two shows up almost four years later so I figured I'd review the pair now.
BLACK METAL is the most Metal comic ever! Forget Kiss Meets The Archie's, this is the real deal. Written by Rick Spears and inked by Chuck BB, this 164 page paperback is an odd size, kinda like a Japanese Manga style book. It's black and white, which adds to its grimness and necroness as well. The art is really blocky, chunky and squared, not a ton of attention to fine detail, but the characters and writing make up for that.
The story is about the blackest of twins, Sam and Shawn Stronghand. These two teens are grim and troo Black Metal fans. Ostracized by their peers and family (clueless mother, annoying baby-brother) and tortured the mundane not-Metal, routine of the daily existence, these kids stumble across the new album by Frostaxe. Well, actually they try to steal it in a brilliant scene at the local Black Metal store at the mall of all places. They get caught but Mom bails them out and they head home with their new prize. After playing the vinyl (naturally) backwards (naturally) which opens a demonic rift and the brothers are presented with a magic sword, forged in hell. As the tale unfolds it becomes apparent that the twins were once demon-spawn called the Roth. A demon appears and tries to kill them so they go on a journey to Los Angeles of course to meet the band Frostaxe and learn more about the story of the sword. A further series of adventures and battles they eventually descend to hell and lead a rebellion against one of the kings of hell.
The art and writing is loaded with Metal references, which I found extremely amusing. For example one of the employees at Necrotation Records in LA, sports a Xasthur shirt. It’s the little things like that bring a smile to my face and the book is loaded with them, clips of lyrics, song-titles, band references and so forth. Quite like Metalocalypse, BLACK METAL is made by Metal fans, for Metal fans.