In Falcon #3, our hero Sam, and his ambitious sidekick Patriot are in jail. Refusing to stand down by order of Chicago’s corrupt mayor the heroes fought to defend against the streets riots incited a rally organized by Falcon himself, they were caught for their efforts and locked behind bars. Here, confirming their suspicions, the mayor reveals that he isn’t what he appears. As he teleports the two in the blink of an eye, asks them to join him as he builds his kingdom on earth. When they of course decline he reveals himself to be Blackheart and attacks them with a demon horde while they remain confined to their prison cells.
Falcon #3 overflows with a deluge of action. Aside from the opening shots that paint a sentimental picture of a memory both nostalgic and dismal for Sam, and the page or 2 he and Patriot spend rejecting the demon lord’s offer of dominion of the world, this issue is fight sequence after fight sequence. Really this is what we want from time to time in our comics. Pure, grade A violence. Along for the ride is occult practicing, master of magic, Brother Voodoo, who makes a much needed appearance to help with the smiting as well as free them from their unlawful incarceration.
Outside there is no shortage of random angry gangsters and mobsters to whoop in the street. We get a pretty good picture of Sam’s new suit and its capabilities. Unbeknownst to us before, it seems now to be bullet proof. As he raises his wings and bullets belt him all over them and the chest, he surges forward as if they have no effect, and handily dispatches his attackers. We also get a good look at Patriot using his jet powered shield, “Rihanna” recently renamed from “Bey” on account of the fact that she likely would never leave rapper Jay-Z after having so many kids. Capable of flying and shooting what looks like energy blasts, it provides with a wide array of counter measures.
Rodney Barnes also tends to drop culturally relevant lines throughout his books. Things that would probably be spoken by characters like Sam and Shaun, however as delightful and relevant as this is, it sometimes seems to weigh down the dialogue, unnecessarily. A reference to Tupac, or how often black stop and frisk searches are welcome, but in a more sparing manner. It makes the characters seem too conscious of their blackness, and makes for unnatural dialogue. While representation of culture is a necessary addition to these books, dropping it too heavy will take a reader out of the story simply because it isn’t natural.
Each page in Falcon #3 is panel to panel with beautiful action shots. Cassara has a high detailed style that has a way of showing vigor and emotion in a battle scene. With each swing we can feel Falcon’s disdain for the situation and the guilt weighing on this shoulders at the fact that it is his fault that the riots were happening at all. This style also makes for grotesque demons and grand displays of Brother Voodoo’s powers. The inking creates dark tones that work well with Rosenburg’s colors and the general idea of the book. The cover art by Acuna offers dark tones outlined by reds that speak to the content of the book in effective fashion. Beautiful work.
Overall this issue was entertaining. The mixing of magic in the urban community is an alluring draw and the arc leaves us wondering how Falcon can defeat a being as powerful as Blackheart. While they do have the assistance of Brother Voodoo, it’s clear that they are going to have to pull some serious tricks from their sleeves to overcome this foe. Without his soul how will Falcon do battle against this demon? I can’t wait to find out in Falcon #4.