Blake Undying #1 Review
From the Vault is a comic book column in which every 2-4 weeks we take a deep dive into a comic book previously sent to us for a review which didn’t make the cut. This could’ve been due to time constraints, lack of interest from our contributor team or the comic book not meeting what we were looking to cover at the time.
This instalment of From the Vault reviews indie comic book – Blake Undying #1.
Blake Undying #1 follows Blake Carson as he decides to become a superhero in order to find out a way to die. The series is written by Jason Cook, art by Ezequiel Rubio, additional colours by Jovanna Plata, and lettering by Nikki Sherman.
Blake Carson is sick of the world and the life he has, only life isn’t done with him. Blake is immortal, and he’s less than happy about that particular development. But perhaps if he becomes a superhero he might just get the attention of a villain clever enough to find a way to kill him.
Blake Undying #1 is published by Digital Fiasco, and is available now.
Blake Undying #1 Story
Blake Carson is sick of the world but finds that he’s unable to die. That sentence alone would make for a compelling story, but Blake Undying takes it a step further by having him decide to become a superhero in order to find a villain who may be able to end his life once and for all. It’s a clever concept that makes sense since nobody would try harder to kill somebody than an archnemesis, and it gives these book a solid hook from the start.
Blake Undying is absolutely a book of dark humour, since it’s the perfect way to tell a story like this. Blake’s indifference to situations that would be otherwise alarming to everyday people is fun to read and oddly charming. It would be very easy to hate a character like Blake, and I’m certain there are people that would, yet I find myself supporting him. Through his words I found it easy to understand his view on the world around him and why he wants to be free of it. He could do something less selfish with his ability, or curse, yet that would likely make for a less compelling story.
I found this first issue very nicely paced, giving us enough time with our protagonist without feeling like it was dragging. It would have been real easy to jump to bigger moments, but that would feel dishonest to what the story is. You need to spend time with Blake because you need to understand his plight and desperation.
Blake Undying #1 Art
Rubio’s art is very suitable for a book like this, a fairly realistic style that makes everything feels unjust a little bit ‘dirty’. The art isn’t unpleasant to look at but does make Blake’s world look somewhat unpleasant to live in. This story isn’t about people in bright tights saving the day and the art lets you know that in an instant.
The colouring leans the book towards an almost noir style, with some heavy shadowing and light colours. Scenes each have their own colour palette skewed towards a particular range of colour; for instance, a scene with a doctor is coloured using cooler tones in the range of blue-green which contrasts incredibly well with the vibrant red introduced by blood.
The lettering by Sherman is on point and never detract from the panels. They are minimalist and effective, doing exactly what they need to do.
Blake Undying #1 Conclusion
This is a book for a very particular audience. If you don’t like darker humour or, more specifically, jokes about death and suicide then this one is definitely not for you. If you can enjoy all of that then this very well may be the comic for you. There is certainly something to admire in the fact that Blake Undying doesn’t shy away from what it is and instead embraces it.