Butting Heads With Another Team Of Pubescent Operatives In Black Badge #2

by Brendan M. Allen

While on a mission to locate political prisoners in Siberia, the Black Badge team meets another group of young operatives who call themselves the Mounties. With the mission on the line, will they be able to work with this other team or will the two teams turn on one another?

Black Badge #1 was an insanely paced introduction to this new Kindt/Jenkins joint. A group of elite American Scouts get “lost” near the Korean DMZ, wander into the DPRK, and paint a probably occupied shed with targeting lasers for a surgical artillery strike. Throwing the kids straight into a mission showed us some of the individual traits that will come into play down the road. We’ve got the kid with the hands, the weapons/disguise expert, the tech guy, and the no-nonsense leader.

Black Badge #2 throws the pubescent A-Team straight into their next mission. They were already on the other side of the globe, so a quick detour into Siberia isn’t too much of a stretch. While the Black Badges are hammering out the details in an empty rail car, they’re interrupted by ANOTHER group, The Young Canadian Mounties, who also happen to be on a Trans-Siberian Railway ”field trip.”

Matt Kindt used the first chapter to introduce the concept and lay out the skill sets and basic hierarchy of the team. This second chapter tells us a few things about the world these kids live in. First, there are more teams of these deadly youngsters. Second, there’s some governing agency that keeps tabs on all the groups. Someone sent the junior RCMP to check up on our guys. Also, one of the Black Badges might be a certifiable sociopath.

I’ve been a fan of the husband/wife art team of Tyler and Hilary Jenkins since Hilary took over color eight issues into Grass Kings. Tyler’s loose linework and Hilary’s gouache painting combine to make this one of the most vibrant and visually stunning series in my queue.

If I learned anything from Grass Kings, it’s to watch out for the swerve. There was a whole lot of buildup, and then when things started popping, it never let up. This second chapter of Black Badge plays a little like the second half of an oversized first issue, which is cool, but I hope we get a little more character work now that the stage is set.

Black Badge #2, Boom! Studios, released 19 September 2018. Written by Matt Kindt, illustrated by Tyler Jenkins, color by Hilary Jenkins, letters by Jim Campbell, covers available by Matt Kindt, Los Jenkins, and Greg Smallwood.

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