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The Black Sable is written by Joe Brusha, artwork is by Sergio Ariño and colors are done by Dijjo Lima. Zenescope is known for its take on the fairytale genre but they have decided to try something new. Zenescope has shown that they can tackle different genres in other titles. In The Courier they tried the Post-apocalyptic setting. And Spirit Hunters they tried the detective horror genre. Needless to say I was excited for what they could do with the space genre. The Black Sable is set in a futuristic Sci-fi where pirates fly around in space and raid other vessels. Additionally there is a totalitarian corporation that controls most of the universe. As usual for Zenescope, a strong bad-ass woman leads the title. She sports an eyepatch and commands her ship of diverse alien and human cohorts as they raid corporation vessels. With that we get into Issue #1.
The Black Sable #1 introduces us to the titular character, Black Sable, a swashbuckling antihero with a heart that commands a stolen corporation vessel. The corporation is a draconian company that appears to control most of the galaxy. We are then introduced to Black Sable’s friend and romantic interest, Blake. Then we get a brief introduction to Captain Carr who heads the Corporation. Then another introduction to Captain Blood, a pirate that looks like a terminator with metallic dreadlocks. The issue then closes out with a brief introduction to Captan Reaver and cliffhanger ending expositing us to yet another faction of humanoid space sharks. If this sounded like too much at once then you are not wrong.
My biggest gripe with this issue is that there are so many characters introduced at once. As it stands its difficult to know the motivation for all the factions. Black Sable herself is growing on me with her cool personality and great costume design. Very early on we see that she is capable of compassion despite being a pirate, which I liked. But thats about as much character development s we are going to get for this first issue. I would have preferred to see Black sable interact with new characters as the series progressed and let the story flesh out more fluidly. This first issue ends up front loading a bit too much setup and ends up muddling the its first impression.
The art in Black Sable #1 is a great standout. In the past Zenescope commonly used multiple artists in the same issue. Having multiple artists in a single issue can be a jarring transition from page to page. Fortunately Black Sable has a set artistic team and it looks like they will stick together for the full run. The art is very bright and the color is varied. It’s a mature audience book due to some gruesome kills and gore but the bright color palette keeps it from becoming dark. There are various alien species throughout the issue which keep things visually interesting and alien diversity is a necessity in a book like this. So far I’m impressed by the bright art style and I have hope for a visually thrilling series.
All in all The Black Sable #1 is a good introductory issue. We are introduced to the world of Black Sable and its many villains. I like Black Sable herself and I’m interested to see where the series takes her. I wish the first issue wasn’t loaded with so many plot threads and characters but perhaps it will pay off later. If you’re interested in trying a Zensescope title, then this is a good start.