I discovered this title about a young Black superhero on Indy Planet back in September 2013, when I bought and reviewed THE ESSENTIAL HOTSHOT #1. In February 2014 I ordered and reviewed HOTSHOT #2. A lot has changed since then. Creator/Artist Michael Watson has since dissolved his previous imprint Freestyle Komics, and started Legacy Rising Publications to continue publishing Hotshot (which was originally billed as a 5-part miniseries) and other series. And while previously available only via print-on-demand, the series is now available digitally not only via IndyPlanet but also on PeepGameComix
This third issue is a pretty good jumping-on point, as it is basically an origin issue. First, via a nightmare, we get a lot more details about the Black Zero Event which wiped out all previous superheroes 4 years earlier. When Michael/Hotshot wakes up, he’s in his ex-girlfriend Carla’s apartment, after the climactic events of the previous issue. She is both angry and shocked to find out about Michael’s secret identity and how he’s been hiding it from her, and demands to know everything. So Michael picks her up and takes her for a flight as he answers all of his questions, at least as well as he can (for example, he still doesn’t know exactly how he got his powers, they just started appearing one by one suddenly).
Writer Victor Dandridge does a most excellent job her with the dialog. This a predominantly “talking heads” issue, it’s the conversation between Michael and Carla that dominates it, and it flows back and forth very well. Dandridge gives both characters distinctive voices, making them sound like real people. You can almost feel all of the anger , sadness, and confusion that Carla expresses, and Michael’s guilt over his secrets and lies, even though he clearly thought that he was doing the right thing. I just very impressed with that exchange.
Michael Watson also continues to impress me with this artwork. The open sequence, where Hotshot is trapped in some dark room, is intense. And he makes some good creative choices in the second half, while Hotshot and Carla are flying, both in terms of the backgrounds he uses while their in motion, and the various close-ups of their faces. Altogether Hotshot #3 is a good package, compelling story and dynamic artwork. I definitely recommend it. Chacebook rating: 4 STARS
And learn more about Victor Dandridge at http://www.vantageinhouse.blogspot.com/