David Lopez is an artist that I have become a big fan of from his work at Marvel on Captain Marvel and All-New Wolverine. Recently Lopez reach out to me on Twitter to offer a copy of his new comic book, BlackHandIronHead, for review. As I am now looking for more comics to jump into outside of Marvel and DC Comics I decided to take this chance at reading another indy comic. What follows is a review of BlackHandIronHead #1 available on Panel Syndicate.
Writer and Artist: David Lopez
Colorist: Nayoung Kim
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: BlackHandIronHead #1 creates a world that reminds me a lot of the superhero worlds we see in Invincible and One Punch Man. Like those worlds, David Lopez has created a setting where heroes and villains have long been part of the world. Not only are they part of the world secret identities aren’t really a big deal.
What was impressive about BlackHandIronHead #1 is how Lopez went about creating a world where there is already an established history of heroes and villains clashing in epic battles. The museum scene in particular got over what the history of the world is without having to list the details of every little event. This is where clearly his time at Marvel came in handy as Lopez used that as a basis for how normal people perceive. It’s in this particular area that Lopez artwork helps as there is a lot of environmental storytelling to inform us how this world has evolved alongside the conflicts between heroes and villains.
Alexia is an interesting main character to headline this new series. From an appearance standpoint, Alexia is not the type of character you see headline a comic book. Lopez addressing this head on with her relationship with her dad helped us have a better understanding of how this world works. That relationship with her father also provided Alexia with a different type of character motivation for getting into fights with others.
Putting Alexia also in the position that she is seen as someone that will take over her father’s company added an interesting wrinkle to the story. Especially with how things ended with a big funeral for her deceased father it makes you question what direction Lopez is looking to take Alexia’s character. With how things were built there are multiple angles that can be chosen.
The supporting cast that Lopez introduced throughout BlackHandIronHead #1 helped add to the world around Alexia. I am especially intrigued with learning more about Mr. Watson and Titan’s full history with the world. Given what we learned about their respective history with Alexia’s father, also a former hero, it makes you wonder what role they will take in the future.
Additionally, Amy, Alexia’s half-sister, had an intriguing introduction at their father’s funeral. The impact of her introduction throws a big wrench in what kind of superhero story Lopez is looking to tell. Though we don’t know a lot about Amy, what we get is enough to wonder how Amy and Alexia’s relationship will evolve over time.
The Bad: BlackHandIronHead #1 is a very exposition heavy first issue. While I understand the intent of having a lot of exposition to build on a new world it did get to be too much at times. With how strong Lopez’s artwork is there were many moments that I wish the art shined more. Scenes like the first time we see Amy or the battle Titan got into would’ve come across better if the dialogue was left out and Lopez allowed his artwork to do the speaking for the scene.
It was also not made 100% clear what Alexia’s power actually is. All we really see is that Alexia is a good brawler but there is never any limits set to her powers. This is something that will need to be addressed in future issues to make whatever journey Alexia will be on more effective.
Overall: BlackHandIronHead #1 is a good start for a new comic book series. The world that we are introduced to has a lot of potential with a different type of main character as the focal point. The heavy reliance on exposition does take away from the impact of the story. As long as David Lopez is able to find a good balance between telling his story through both dialogue and his artwork the series will only get better.
If you want to check BlackHandIronHead #1 out for yourself you can do so at PanelSyndicate at the following link.