NO/ONE #3 – Image Comics via Black Market Narrative
Creative Team: Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellato, Geraldo Borges, Mark Englert & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Welcome to an all-new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast via Nerd Initiative.
For this entry, we’re following the clues surrounding the biggest mystery in comics: WHO IS NO ONE? The Image Comics series via Black Market Narrative has been an absolute smash hit with readers as both #1 and #2 have gone into 2nd and 3rd printings.
The way that this series has branched outside traditional comics promotion is incredible with its companion podcast and viral shorts. “No/One” feels more like an event rather than a series. Note, this is only after two issues of the series. To cause that strong of a reaction after only two issues is a testament to the amazing work being done with this series.
NO/ONE #3 by Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellato, Geraldo Borges, Mark Englert & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou dives back into the story after last issue’s shocking ending. All bets are off where the fallout goes from here, but let’s not wait any longer. Shall we resume the mystery of “Who Is No One”?
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
Louis Capel. Michael Kern. Coach Nathan Tate. All dead with a possible common thread connecting them. That common denominator is the mysterious vigilante known as “No/One”. However, it is more complicated than it seems. “Richard Roe” aka “the accountability Killer” or No/One is publicly known as Aaron Kern.
Kern has been in Allegheny County Jail after being caught and confessing to being the killer. So if he’s behind bars, who is the copycat attacking under the mask? This is on top of Assistant Chief Ben Kern (Aaron’s father) being attacked and saved by No/One?!
No/One also has caught the eyes of Pittsburgh Ledger Editor Teddy Barlow and reporter Julia Paige who are covering the case via podcast. Detectives Singh and Harper are on the case, trying to make sense of it all. The City of Pittsburgh is on edge.
Senator Noah Tate (who survived a No/One attack) arrives and makes a public plea to bring swift legal change to protect the people from No/One. Tate looks to Kern for support and is answered with a public resignation instead.
The Mystery Continues
This issue opens with Police Sergeant Vince Harmon sitting with Ben Kern setting up an exit interview to tie up loose ends. This is interrupted by Lieutenant McGarrity, who barges in with questions of his own for Kern. The conversation is heated as the frustration of the case is boiling over. Once cooler heads prevail, the case file is given to Kern for one last attempt to find a clue to solve the case.
Meanwhile, Julia and Teddy are discussing Aaron Kern’s timeline when she receives a call from her mother, FOC News host Alanna Page, who is going on-air to talk about the case. When declined, Alanna’s attention shifts to another case. That case involves a man by the name of Kenneth Chbosky. Shortly after the show, Chbosky reaches out to Julia for an interview due to her No/One coverage.
How do things fare with another profile case? How does this fit in with the No/One case? Readers witness what transpires and what dangers follow. With the spotlight burning hotter on all the major players, the case shifts into new directions. With so many vested parties searching for answers, there is no shortage of enjoyment for readers to have with this series.
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Higgins and Buccellato focus heavy on the tension the No/One case is having on the citizens of Pittsburgh. Right from the opening segment, they set the tone of anger and bitterness directed at Ben Kern. It’s countered with his own tormented feelings with how his family is attached to the case.
The story with Julia presents an interesting dynamic with her mother that has only begun to scratch the surface. It is overshadowed by the events involving her and Chbosky, which the writing team shows how dangerous her line of work can be. The fallout changes some preconceived notions surrounding her investigation and raises more questions heading further into the mystery.
Even with the focus being on Julia for the majority of this issue, the main supporting characters get enough panel time to advance their parts. The conclusion brings one character full circle as anyone involved with this case simply just can’t walk away from it.
First off, how fantastic is the main cover by Borges and Mark Englert! It’s subtle but makes a statement. Heading into the issue, the emotional outbursts pour out of the panels when it involves Ben Kern and Lieutenant McGarrity, readers can easily connect the pent-up frustration that explodes when Kern tries answering the questioning.
Julia and Chbosky’s portion of the story comes off brooding and tense, which pairs perfectly with the blunt writing of Chbosky’s character. The fallout is swift and impactful as no panel goes wasted in redefining Julia’s opinions concerning the story she is diving into. There’s a great near fill page panel that readers can fully see the change unfolding surrounding Julia’s case.
Panel structure is also giving this series a more powerful feel to how No/One’s actions have grabbed the city’s attention. There’s a certain energy that this book brings that gets amplified by the amazing art.
FINAL POINT: 9 OUT OF 10
The Massive-Verse’s biggest mystery heads into uncharted territory with its latest entry. Shifting the focus away from the main case to highlight a smaller one is a risky gamble, but Higgins, Buccellato, Borges, and the team tie it all together with compelling writing and phenomenal art. The mystery has only just begun but there is a reason why this series gets all the praise it does: It’s simply THAT Good! Don’t miss this series and the companion podcast when it drops!
Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know your thoughts on No/One #3. Thanks for reading Parlay Points on Nerd Initiative.