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Final Crisis: Ink

01/02/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Final Crisis: Ink in the USA - or Buy Final Crisis: Ink in the UK

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Final Crisis: Ink by Eric Wallace and Fabrizio Fiorentino. pub: DC Comics. 144 page graphic novel softcover. Price: $17.99 (US), $22.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-4012-2607-7.

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I have to confess that when I looked at the cover of ‘Ink’, I almost judged the book by its cover. The interiors are far better and I really want to single out colourist Michael DiMotta for doing a superb effect with an effective washy palate and unusual but effective colour choices which adds to the story by Eric Wallace and drawn by Fabrizio Fiorentino.

There is a new Tattooned Man, a black man called Mark Richards, who has moved away from being a criminal and an apprentice to full membership to the Justice League of America. Without having a secret identity, the repercussions for himself and family in the ghetto-land of Liberty Hill demonstrates its own problems, especially when super-villains target him.

In many respects, his tattoos act like the original’s by coming to life and deployed when fighting except a couple of them have minds of their own and one of them, Altera, is jealous of Richards’ wife.

Saying too much about this story reaches spoiler level, especially as the key villain isn’t revealed until the final few chapters. What makes this story so effective is the presentation of the ghetto which looks believable and you can imagine going on. There’s a lot of nudging most super-heroes or capes don’t do anything for them yet the treatment of Richards is equally alarming, mostly because he can’t be everywhere. The way the book ends suggests that there is more to come and that definitely needs to be explored. I mean, the super-hero is only really there to stop the super-villain, not hang around afterwards to be at everyone’s beck and call like a one man citizen advice bureau with attitude so there needs to be a dividing line. Never forget the argument that if you have super-heroes then super-villains will see them as their natural enemy.

‘Ink’ has certainly got well-developed characters and although this is my first introduction to this Tattooed Man, it looks like he should have a healthy if dangerous future.

GF Willmetts

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This book has 15 votes in the sci-fi charts

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