Falcon #6 Review

by Charles Martin on March 14, 2018

Falcon #6 Review
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Sebastián Cabrol
Colourist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Rodney Barnes's tenure on the Falcon has been an exciting, weird trip. He launched the series with an obvious love for Silver and Bronze Age comics that influenced his scripts in both positive and negative ways. While he rapidly refined his storytelling, he also retained a unique (if loquacious) voice throughout the title's first arc.

Suddenly the Falcon is a more streamlined and modern title. I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing; though the comic rightly holds onto its tremendous insight into Sam Wilson's state of mind, I worry that some of the style and attitude that made this title great has been trimmed away in the drive to simplify.

This arc is all about vampires. (And romance, but mostly vampires.) Deacon Frost is front and centre from the get-go and even takes over narration duties from Sam for most of this issue. His plans and goals are laid out with a little too much clarity: He's out to earn some take-over-the-world power-ups (like an immunity to sunlight) from Mephisto in exchange for whacking Sam Wilson.

The three storylines featured here - Sam reconnecting with Misty, Shaun's dating woes, and Deacon Frost plotting mayhem - are woven together with praiseworthy skill. They interact with each other in ways that produce both immediate rewards and groundwork for bigger and better twists in the future. 

I also have tremendous respect for the way Rodney Barnes engineers a perfect "that's why I love her" moment between Sam and Misty without overplaying it and having Sam say/think "that's why I love her." Mr. Barnes trusts the reader to connect those dots, and I admire that a lot.

I hope that's not too spoilery - the Sam/Misty relationship is still definitely stuck on "it's complicated" status when this issue's over. But there are mighty hopeful signs for those of us who think they make a great couple.

Sebastián Cabrol does a fine job of filling in for regular artist Joshua Cassara, but his careful adherence to the look Mr. Cassara has already established leaves this issue's visuals slightly underwhelming. He does put a darker, grittier spin on things by using heavier lines and more shadows. It's a shame that he gets relatively few opportunities to leave his mark on the story's vampires; horror seems to be his wheelhouse and his dead-eyed bloodsuckers are full of creepy potential.

Mr. Cabrol invests a lot of effort in the settings and backgrounds and Rachelle Rosenberg helps out by drenching most of the scenes in spooky horror-compatible blues and greens. Brooklyn is simultaneously brought to life and made to look forbidding. Even the bright red bar where Sam and Misty meet is tinged purple by the overriding colour scheme - I liked that touch. The warm, neutral colours in Shaun's later scenes are a bit jarring, though.

Falcon launches into his second story arc with a spookier, more serious tone and a more modern pace. There's a tiny twinge of disappointment in saying goodbye to the over-stuffed scripts of previous issues. We've got cool vampires and interesting supporting cast developments to look forward to - but I worry that this title's unique, idiosyncratic voice might be slipping away.

Our Score:


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WTH is Wanda doing in her training room cameo? Is that … combat hopscotch?