Year of the Villain: Black Mask #1

Writer: Tom Taylor Artist: Cully Hamner Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: August 21, 2019 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 20 User Reviews: 21
7.5Critic Rating
7.5User Rating

Black Mask was one of Gotham City's most ruthless crime lords. He had money, power and respect. But after months in the Teen Titans' secret prison, Roman Sionis is finally free. Given a new purpose and new abilities thanks to Lex Luthor's offer, he's found a new racket. Corporate crime not only pays better, but it's far less dangerous. At least until Batwoman discovers what he's up to and plans to put an end to Black Mask's latest power grab. Is Black Mask the same crime boss he's always been, or has time and a new approach made him something far more unstoppable than he's ever been?

  • 9.2
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - Jason Jeffords Jr Aug 23, 2019

    YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: BLACK MASK #1 puts a smart new spin on a classic Bat-villain that greatly needed an updated mask. Furthermore YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: BLACK MASK #1 works as a great tie-in but as an even greater stand alone for newcomers. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Dark Knight News - Max Byrne Aug 21, 2019

    Year Of The Villain " Black Mask #1 is a perfect entry point for readers not overly familiar with the character, though long-time devotees will love it too. With the promise of more to come for Black Mask down the line, the web of intrigue being woven here has reeled this fan in with both feet. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Aug 21, 2019

    It's very early in The Gifts portion of the Year of the Villain arc, but if most books are of this quality they'll be worth checking out to see how Luthor tips the scales in favor of his fellow bad guys. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    You Don't Read Comics - Jason A. Fleece Aug 21, 2019

    The only problem with the issue, unfortunately, is its reason for existing in the first place. The inclusion of Lex Luthor and his offer feels shoehorned into what is otherwise a stunner of an installment. Still, its great to see a one-and-done comic done well, and Year of the Villain: Black Mask #1 is definitely that. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Aug 21, 2019

    I don't know if the idea was to make Black Mask a compelling character, and I'm not sure it achieved that, but it definitely made him an effective threat. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    411Mania - John Pumpernickel Aug 29, 2019

    Plenty of event issues crowd the rack but this is one book worth picking up. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    DC Comics News - Derek McNeil Aug 26, 2019

    Although this event and special are a bit lacking in originality, they do give us an entertaining read. Also, it sets Black Mask up as a much more dangerous threat than before. I hope to see the new and improved Black Mask making more appearances, whether in the Batman family of titles or in the wider DC Universe. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Forces Of Geek - Lenny Schwartz Aug 21, 2019

    I mean, it was a pretty great story and all, I am just wondering if Black Mask will be playing a bigger role. Let's hope so and let's hope this creative team works together again. They work very well together. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Batman Universe - Tony Hammack Aug 22, 2019

    Fun issue. It seems like this is a backdoor pilot to a new Batwoman series. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Legion - Josh Davenport Aug 21, 2019

    Because of the events that take place and the way that it ends, Taylor presents everything in a way that makes Black Mask seem like an important piece of the larger puzzle. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Multiversity Comics - Kenneth Laster Aug 23, 2019

    Year of the Villain: Black Mask is a very average issue that starts something with no immediate promise of finishing but made stronger by an impressive art team. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Geek'd Out - Nico Sprezzatura Aug 21, 2019

    The creative team behind the issue is pretty solid, spearheaded by Tom Taylor (one of the best superhero writers currently working, in my opinion) and Cully Hamner, whose experience drawing grittier action-heavy stories like this serves Taylors script well. Dave Stewarts vibrant colors offer an appealing contrast from the darkness of Hammers inks, especially the pops of bright red when Batwoman is in the scene. In all, Year of the Villain: Black Mask is a pretty unimpeachable little one-off supervillain tale. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Crusaders - Johnny "The Machine" Hughes Aug 21, 2019

    For yet another event tie-in book, this is better than most, which is to be expected when you consider that Taylor is one of the names often touted as a King replacement on Batman. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    But Why Tho? - Charles Hartford Aug 21, 2019

    When taken all together, this issueis a solid entry into the Year of the Villain story event. It lays the groundwork for future events while giving the audience a deeper understanding of the main character. This makes this Black Mask: Year of the Villain #1 a great read for people following the event, or readers who are interested in a deeper dive to one of Gotham's most notorious villains. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - Forrest C. Helvie Aug 23, 2019

    This first issue does a few things well while not completely sticking the landing. Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    GWW - Deron Generally Aug 21, 2019

    Year of the Villain is supposed to be this huge storyline pitting the forces of Doom against the forces of Justice. Everything about this first issue feels as small as the crimes themselves. Cully Hamner's art is great in this issue. The characters look great and the moments between young Roman and young Bruce Wayne in the beginning of the story are amazing. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Weird Science - Reggie Hemingway Aug 21, 2019

    A Black Mask origin story that has been told before,and better, with an extra wrinkle that is pretty disappointing. "Year of theVillain" fanatics only need apply, Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    The Beat - Louie Hlad Aug 21, 2019

    Welcome to the year of halfway paying attention to comics. Wake me when someone comes up with an actual story idea. Until then I'll be reading DCeased. Read Full Review

  • 6.0 - Chase Magnett Aug 21, 2019

    While the overall effort may be uneven, it certainly delivers more good than bad in a one-shot brimming with evil intent. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Batman-News - Michael Escalante Aug 23, 2019

    Black Mask: Year of the Villain is not a bad comic book, but it is one that I feel I'll forget soon after reading it. It manages to tick all of the boxes required of a one shot like this, but does little to add to the bigger story at play. There is good character work with Kate and Renee and the promise of more Black Mask villainy to come, but the issue has not done a good job of making me want more. If Year of the Villain is going to work, it needs to up the stakes monumentally. In my opinion, this event is failing to deliver the game-changing narratives it promised. Read Full Review

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