Black Salt Comic Book Review

Black Salt Comic Book Review

<em>Black Salt</em> Comic Book Review

Is "Black Salt" the next grassroots comic/movie franchise hit? What would happen if Sean Claude Van Damme was in Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon? See what can be expected from Black Salt's first comic publication, "The Origin."

So you have heard underground mumblings of Black Salt but were to afraid to ask?


You've never heard of Black Salt? Well, I have to admit, neither had I... Until now.

Let me first give a little background on the franchise itself. Black Salt claims itself to be a combination of Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon and Blade. Combining Sean Claude Van Damme action, with a cult martial arts film flair, Black Salt is being developed by Ratti Entertainment. Using a grassroots method, they have begun their franchise by gaining the fans first, then developing the product. Using various social networking systems, such as Facebook and Twitter, Black Salt has already generated a curiosity that causes literally hundreds of inquiries a day to Ratti Entertainment.

As well as using the social networks to generate advertising, there is also a product line that is the main source of income to build funds to produce the film. Now you may be asking yourself, if they don't even have a film yet, what do they have related to the story?

Well, they have the first issue of the intertwining comic book from Blackline Comics, titled The Origin.

Opening in 1984, we immediately meet the antagonist, Kali Zhang, who has decided to questionably revolt against the teachings of his Shaolin masters. After being caught by another monk, Kali kills the young man, and his decent into the dark world of the Asian underground begins.

The story then forwards to the modern day where we find the hero, a young CIA agent named Sam Tharpe, on a stakeout on the top of a medical research facility with a small unit of CIA soldiers. With information about why they are stationed being withheld on a “need-to-know” basis, Sam questions the situation. However, it is to late. The building is under attack, and during the battle, Sam manages to show his martial arts swordsmanship and take out one of the attackers by the name of Rin Zhang. Afterwards, we find a disgruntled Kali Zhang vowing revenge on Sam for killing his son.

While there is nothing immediately disappointing with the story, there is nothing overly amazing either. However, there is nothing wrong with a small time franchise playing it safe with their opening story. Black Salt: The Origin may not be groundbreaking, but it is a solid beginning. The comic moves at a rapid pace to keep you interested in the next scene, but at some points, it may be a tad hasty. I personally, would have liked more time learning about Kali Zhang, and what turned him against the Shaolin monks. It may not have even been a bad idea to make most of the first issue about Kali, and end it hanging with the attack on the building. But like I said, this is an origin story, the idea is to make us want to stay tuned in to learn more about the characters. There may be a reason so little background is originally given.

The artwork is also solid. In the 1984 China scenes, there are a lot of soothing colors, such as dark greens and purples to give the impression the monks land at night is a very peaceful area. Then in the modern day, there is a heavy use of earthy tones and fading oranges with the occasional contrasting blue to represent the twilight in the city. I was also very pleased with the character models. They actually reminded me of Jim Lee, specifically the original WildCats with their almost metallic shine. It was also good to see that the character colors often contrasted with the background. This made it easier to see all the action. The monks wearing orange against the dark night hues, and the CIA soldiers wearing black against the orange.

So is Black Salt: The Origin worth $3.99 (or $0.99 for the digital copy). Certainly! Especially if you are a fan of the high-paced action flick or classic Bruce Lee type martial arts. Though I would suggest keeping in mind that this franchise, and story, are still at the cult level, and just getting started. While there is nothing overly phenomenal about the first comic, the reason we start in on the ground floor is because we expect great things, and I certainly see possibilities. Only time will tell.

Your friendly neighborhood Falcon,
John "Falcon" Ayers
The Falcon's Nest

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