Black Badge Vol. 1

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 May 2019

Member Reviews

Originating from the United Kingdom, scouting aims to support young people in their physical and mental development so that they may play constructive roles in society, with a strong focus on the outdoors and survival skills. In terms of the depiction of scouts in pop culture, the best would have to be River Phoenix as the young Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, as well as that one episode of The Simpsons. Sadly, what new spin on scouting that new BOOM! Studios series Black Badge presents lacks the fun of those other works.
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A thrilling new graphic novel. A lot like Deadly Class but with a boy scout twist. Following the newest scout who doesn't quite get what they're doing provides the heart and humor but the clearly high stakes bring the danger and suspense. I can't wait to see more in this series.
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An interesting twist on some espionage and definitely an engaging read. Not only a good story, but some good art too.
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'Black Badge Vol. 1' by Matt Kindt with art by Tyler Jenkins is a graphic novel about an elusive scout troop, but it's Matt Kindt, so you know there is more here than meets the eye.

A young scout has finally earned all the badges he can.  Then he hears about the mythical black badge.  He joins a troop in search of this badge only to find that it refers to the troop he's in.  They are tasked with counterintelligence jobs like marking a building in North Korea and starting a prison riot in Siberia.  They are kids, so no one suspects they are nothing more.  Along the way, the new kid finds out about a former black badge named Jimmy, who has a whole other perspective on what it means to be a black badge.

Matt Kindt never fails to impress.  His writing is all about subterfuge and misdirection.  I loved the small nod to another Kindt series, Mind MGMT.  The art is on par for other Matt Kindt type books.  Tyler Jenkins art runs to the loose sketch type style, but it works fine for the story here.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from BOOM! Studios and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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Many thanks to BOOM! Studios and Netgalley for this ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

If Wes Anderson made a sequel to Moonrise Kingdom, following his scouts, and placed them in a Mission Impossible type scenario is, it might look like this. Black Badge feels so familiar, and it helps that the storytelling and the art is so confident in itself, and doesn’t forget to have fun with its premise, it’s difficult not to be enchanted by any of this. 

There’s so much world-building that gets revealed, besides having the events play within an alternate-US, but in terms to the different scouts that are out in the world, casually making changes everyday.

I’m definitely going to keep up with this series, and can’t wait to see what’s coming up for these characters
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Black Badge, Vol. 1 by Matt Kindt, et. al. is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in late May.

I was drawn to this comic (ha) because of my Girl Scout camp counselor experience and the sheer ferocity it would take to earn such gory, spooky badges. 4 scouts are on an extended mission, traveling by canoe into North Korea, by train to a Siberian prison, airdrop into Afghanistan, then Pakistan, and on jamboree in Hawaii in pursuit of the mysterious Black Badge, which seems to require literal/figurative sacrifice. They undergo an internal struggle of duty versus conspiratorial espionage, scouts as lowercase soldiers, as well as meet and team up/against with other scouts with their own set of specialties and reveal who they are with backstories of intense self-reliance.
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This was an interesting thing to read. It was a cover request honestly but boyscouts gone secret spy would have got me to request it as well. It was a fast read. Artwork was cool. The story doesnt go deep into detail about surroundings or anything. So if you like a lot of detail this probably wont be for you. I would say for me personally this was average okay read. I liked the idea it was going for but it could have been a lot better.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this. All opinions are 100% my own.
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Black Badge is an intriguing series. It is a combination of the down and dirty black OPS type narrative against the wholesomeness of the Boy Scouts. It makes sense when you think about it. It takes an amazing amount of dedication to get your badges, and it is in a variety of fields. What better way to find the perfect type recruits than to recruit from a pool of characters that do it for self-betterment. The writing is excellent and the graphics are top notch. I would expect nothing less than great from Tyler Jenkins. (I dug Grass Kings) I definitely think if you love espionage stories with a twist, this is the right thing to read. Check it out!
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"An espionage series about a top-secret, elite branch of boy scouts tasked by the government to take on covert missions.

Meet the Black Badges, a top-secret branch of boy scouts tasked by the government to take on covert missions that no adult ever could. Among their organization, the Black Badges are the elite—the best of the best. The missions they’re tasked with are dangerous, and will only get worse as their leader’s attention is split between their objective and tracking down a lost team member. A member who disappeared years ago...presumed dead. Reuniting New York Times bestselling author Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and illustrator Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust) following their multiple Eisner Award-nominated series Grass Kings, Black Badge is a haunting look at foreign policy, culture wars, and isolationism through the lens of kids who know they must fix the world that adults have broken."

I don't know what BOOM! Studios comic I was reading when I first saw an ad for Black Badge, but I knew right away it was for me.
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|| Book Review - Black Badge ||
5 Stars, *****/5

Ho. Ly. Shit. 

I really enjoy a random graphic novel from time to time but this one blew my socks off. I'm already convinced it'll end up on Netflix in the next year or two. I received a copy of this graphic novel from the folks at @netgalley and @boom_studios for review.

The story is about a troop of elite boy scouts, the Black Badge, who run spy operations around the world.

The art is loose and rough, which plays well with the story. The writing is quick and interesting. The characters are fun and well-rounded. I read this volume in one sitting and was immediately eager for more. It's clear that the team who wrote and illustrated this are practiced professionals but the story is very unique .

I cannot wait to read more. I'll actually be buying physical copies of this because I loved it so much.

I'd recommend this to anyone who loves graphic novels, spy novels, crazy twists on normal people and anyone who likes a quick, fun read.
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Matt Kindt has written some pretty stellar stuff. I’ll actually be looking at another of his series, Dept. H, in a couple weeks to coincide with Dark Horse’s new release of the series. That said, I had some trepidation around boy scout spec ops missions, so it was with some tentativeness that I approached the first volume of Black Badge.
The Black Badges are the most elite of the Boy Scouts, tasked with performing secret mission for the United States. The reader is frequently reminded that it is much easier for kids to feign innocence or get out of tight spots with enemy forces than trained adults. The troop of Black Badges followed in this series must complete missions from North Korea to Siberia to Pakistan, all while maintaining their cover and examining the mystery of a Black Badge killed on a recent mission.
I couldn’t ever really buy into the main premise of Boy Scouts being used for top secret military missions. That said, when I set aside that hang up and just let Black Badge be its weird self, I had a fair bit of fun with it. The characters have a lot of depth, and it was wonderful to watch them grow and evolve as the story progressed.
I did want to see a little more continuity issue-to-issue, as the first few issues were effectively each stand-alone missions, but towards the end of this first volume some bigger threads begin to come together, creating a cohesive whole.
While Black Badge didn’t start out quite as cohesive as I would have liked, it was always entertaining and grew better and better as the collection continued. This series shows a lot of potential, and I’m looking forward to the second volume. Recommended for fans of off-beat thrillers.
Review will be available at provided link on May 23, 2019.
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Rating: 4.5
I wanted to read this book because of how unique the cover was. I liked that the badges were not one’s typical badge for being a scout which is perfect because the comic “Black Badge” by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Hilary Jenkins is not your typical story. The black badges are a secretive group of boy scouts that undergo missions for the governments. Being young kids makes them perfect for these missions because no one would suspect them. Already in this book we see the group go on two serious missions which shows us how skilled they are because those missions definitely were meant for older adults. This book goes beyond secretive missions by having a strong group of main characters. I found myself liking everyone in the group even the leader who is faced with the hardest decisions. What he has to do and the decisions he makes will definitely stay with him the rest of his life. The banter between characters was funny and it was a nice release from the serious moments. What separates this book from all other graphic novels is the fact that it has a little bit of everything. Not to mention even though the main characters are young teenagers this book can definitely be read by older adults due to the material being handled. To be honest I was not the biggest fan of the illustrations when I first started reading but by the end it actually grew on me. I ended up liking that the artwork was different because it fit the overall story. I would not have it any other way! I will definitely be continuing this series. 

Should you read “Black Badge”?
Yes! If you are looking for something that is serious with a dash of humor then this story is for you. This story is also great in making one question their actions and the effects those actions might have. 

**Received an advanced copy through NetGalley in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
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Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC of #BlackBadge in exchange for an honest review

Black Badge was my introduction to Matt Kindt's work.  I enjoyed this graphic novel immensely, its many twists, turns, teamwork, and of course the tie in between scouts and espionage.  who doesn't love a bit of espionage.  I recommend this work to all fans of graphic novels and those that love a good spy story.
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I have read Matt Kindt's work in the past and have always enjoyed them. So when I saw that he had a new book out I had to check it out. I did not know at the time that this was about a secret op team of boy scouts. Honestly, that seems kinda strange and unreal. That and the fact that the missions seemed to be super short in duration I found this to be pretty a mediocre read. Not a terrible read, but just average. Although the artwork was very beautiful at times. I really enjoyed the painted landscape scenes. Something I was wondering after reading this was I noticed the phrase "grass Kingdoms
 was mentioned a few times near the end of the volume and was wondering if the 2 titles were connected in some way?
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Premise: “An espionage series about a top-secret, elite branch of boy scouts tasked by the government to take on covert missions.”

I was intrigued by the idea of elite scouts who infiltrate different countries undercover, as both my boys are scouts. At first I was amused at the idea of scouts as decoys, but the story by Matt Kindt proved to be more nuanced than I expected with some deeper themes regarding political and social agendas.

Kenny, Cliff, Mitzi and new team member Willy begin their adventure in South Korea with a mission of getting into North Korea to spy. When caught there (and anywhere else) they claim to be lost, and government officials never take them seriously as a threat and always release them. They next move to Siberia, and later Pakistan, and we are introduced to a larger web of connections and conspiracies. A lack of communication between team members and higher ups was an unwelcome trope and led to the reader, and the team themselves, questioning who could really be trusted. The book ends with an upcoming Hunger Games-esque competition between this Black Badge squad and other young scout teams.

The sketchy artwork by Tyler Jenkins, colored in with watercolors and gouache by Hilary Jenkins, was reminiscent of Jeff Lemire’s work (who does a variant cover). While this style can be imprecise for small details, it gives the story an appropriate restless and shadowy look. Flashbacks, which often were suspect, are shown as boldly monochromatic and give you visual clues of time shifts. The layouts were varied with some nice splash pages, with the outdoor scenes drawn especially well.

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advance online copy. This new series could potentially take off with the YA crowd, as an edgier and more mature version of Lumberjanes, for both sexes. I’ll keep my eye on this as a potential purchase for my library collection.
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Black Badge is a comic about boy scouts. Not just any boy scouts though. The cream of the crop, best of the best, boy scouts. These scouts have earned every badge there is to earn. Or so they thought. They find out that there is another badge, the black badge. 
Having been a Girl Scout my entire life I really enjoyed reading about this fictional universe surrounding using children - specifically scouts - to carry out secret missions. Because really who expects a bunch of kids, right? The plot of the book is nice, well paced and not rushed. Secrets are teased out as we read along. I really enjoyed the story line and the art style as well. I would highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of spy stories. Altogether, it was a fun story and I can't wait to read more!
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Black Badge is an incredibly original series, showing an elite branch of Scouts-turned-spies who influence world events with their honed skills. We see the most elite unit, the Black Badges, as they try to initiate a new member into their troop. The line between good guys and bad guys is pretty vague as far as the team and their actions are concerned.

The missions are pretty straightforward, sending the troop into enemy countries to extract assets or identify targets. The cover story lies in the assumption that Scouts can go anywhere and act like they’re lost when cornered. It’s a hilarious concept that works every time. This is definitely a dark story, showing kids making world-altering decisions for a mostly faceless organization that never gives them all of the information. To a kid, the concept of becoming a super-spy is a dream, and this series takes that to fruition.

I love the somewhat abstract art style. It gives a minimalist feel to the panels, placing the focus on the story and landscapes surrounding the scouts.

Overall, Black Badge is an interesting concept. With fascinating artwork and a band of young operatives that skirt the line between good and bad, it’s sure to be an epic series.
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Black Badge Vol. 1
by Matt Kindt
BOOM! Studios

Black Badge reads very well as an e-book, not having double page spreads that some e-readers can't handle.

Matt Kindt has created a dark, fun, twist on Boy Scouts. We follow a group of scouts trying to earn their black badge(s) dealing with espionage and even wet works. These kids can go places adult operatives can't because if they get caught they can play the innocent lost lamb card.  Kindt fleshes out a world where kids are sent to clean up adults messes with complexity and humor.  Getting to know our scouts is a big part of the fun as their personalities are laid vulnerably bare despite their obvious deadly skills, as questions arise about the authority they blindly follow.  

Much of the fun is in the ancillary material; where pages from the Black Badge Scout Handbook can be found, including a list of the black badges to be earned are detailed.

 Quick Note: Matt Kindt anticipated the Boy Scouts of America now allowing girls into the club.
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Matt Kindt and Co. are telling a very interesting story here about a secret division of the Boy Scouts that act as spies for the US government, but Vol. 1 doesn't actually cover much ground. At this point, it's just fun to be along for the ride, but any ideas of the overarching story aren't given much room to breathe.
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A clever idea, rendered in a style that doesn't totally appeal to me (there are too many what I call color pages, such that all the page is done in blue and black or red and black, I find it distracting and a bit too "ooooo" for my tastes).  I think there are some great building blocks here, but all in all I found it to be a far too serious version of The Lumberjanes, and probably won't read Vol. 2.
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