|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Friday, June 29, 2007 |
( 6/29/2007 10:57:00 AM ) Bill S.
"JUST TELL ME THE END, THAT'S WHAT I SAY." – Good to see that, two years after its introductory On Ramp issue, Larry Young & John Proctor's dystopian road warrior tale Black Diamond has finally started up in earnest. The title for the first of six issues, "Shake Hands with Danger," works to establish the cheeky vibe that Young is going for here: as unlikely dentist hero Don McLaughlin (It's a Man's Life in the British Dental Association!) learns that his wife has been kidnapped by inhabitants of the Black Diamond superhighway in a doubtless futile attempt at halting an apparently government-ordered crackdown on the lawless elevated concrete. Issue #1 basically is devoted to re-introducing our series protagonist, a nice guy middle-class straight arrow who knows the difference between club soda and seltzer water and is forced to take a '73 Mercury Cougar onto the lawless Black Diamond so he can get across the country to his wife in Baltimore – stat!
To provide some context (or at least remind those readers like me who can barely remember what they read last week, let alone a prologue floppy distributed two years ago), the first issue also contains a back-of-the-book stand-alone vignette depicting life on the superhighway, Written and illustrated by new-to-me artist Dennis Culver, the eight-page short is more rough-hewn than Young & Proctor's last chance power drive – sort of a Death Race 2000 companion piece to the main story’s slicker, more assured Road Warrior – but it still manages to effectively convey the concrete wilderness that'll be our main story's setting. If On Ramp primarily worked as a teasing glimpse of the world of Black Diamond, this #1 offers an effective intro to Dr. Don's story. I'm ready to go along for the ride . . .