Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh
Alec Worley (Writer) • DaNi (Artist)
Reviewed By Tarn Richardson
Black Beth is a creation from the 1970s’ vibrant British comic scene who, infuriatingly (if this comic is anything to go by), only got a single outing in Scream magazine before being folded up and packed away.
And there she would have stayed if not for writer Alec Worley who, as a young reader, fell in love with the character and championed for her return. Now, over twenty years later, she’s back. And you have to ask, ‘Where’s she been all these years?’ And, more to the point ‘Why so long?!’. Because this is a brilliant character and ‘Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh’ is a brilliant comic.
Reminiscent of the fantasy of the Ray Harryhausen movies, ‘Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh’ is a wonderful exotic mix of the Orient, Eastern fairy tales, Dungeons and Dragons and camp, old school thrills. Every page is full of demons and monsters, wicked Persian guards, necromancers and daring duo, courtesy of Black Beth and her psychic sidekick Quido.
The protagonist, Black Beth, is a mix between Red Sonja and Jason (and the Argonauts), part swashbuckler, part witch, hunting evil and writing wrongs. Whilst her intentions are for good, sometimes her impetuous nature and moral compass see her falter, which is where Quido is on hand to draw her back to the right path.
Writer Alec Worley and artist DaNi have done a fantastic job bringing the spirit of the old comic to life, whilst creating something which feels fresh and new.
Over 32 gloriously drawn and painted pages, the reader is immersed in the world of wonder, magic and might. The action is frenetic, and dialogue beautifully pitched between cliche and compulsive – the final result being utterly addictive.
As well as the main story, there’s also a revealing second short Black Beth story and a third unrelated short story called ‘Death Man’ which is a miracle of colouring.
But the main Black Beth story is the winner here. It’s been twenty-three years since the last Black Beth outing. Please don’t leave us lovers of swords and sorcery waiting another twenty-three years for her next adventure!
Black Beth And The Devils Of Al-Kadesh
Almost lost in the mists of time, writer Alec Worley (Durham Red) and artist DaNi (Coffin Bound) revive the warrior known only as Black Beth in this 48-page special!
A self-made knight on a quest to punish evildoers, with the aid of her blind hunchback sidekick Quido, Black Beth is The Punisher meets Red Sonja meets MacBeth! Originally created by Spanish illustrator Blas Gallego but with his co-creator’s name no longer known, follow Black Beth as she quests into a new era!
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Tarn Richardson was brought up a fan of fantasy and horror, in a remote house, rumoured to be haunted, near Taunton, Somerset. He is the author of THE DARKEST HAND series, published by Duckworth Overlook in 2015-2017 and republished by RedDoor in 2019. Comprising of THE DAMNED, THE FALLEN, THE RISEN, and free eBook prequel THE HUNTED, the books tell the epic story of Inquisitor Poldek Tacit, battling the forces of evil to the backdrop of World War One. He has also written the novels, RIPPED, and THE VILLAGE IN THE WOODS, to be published in 2020 and 2021. He lives near Salisbury with this wife, the portraiture artist Caroline Richardson, and their two sons.
Official Website www.tarnrichardson.co.uk