Comic Review: Blackbird #1 (Image)

The cover of Blackbird #1 from Image, is simply stunning. Does the rest of the book hold up, or make us want to take to the skies? Created by writer […]

The cover of Blackbird #1 from Image, is simply stunning. Does the rest of the book hold up, or make us want to take to the skies?

Created by writer Sam Humphries and artist Jen Bartel, Blackbird is about a girl. When she was 13, she had a vision, previsualizing an earthquake. This premonition was prophetic, and the earthquake DID occur. In the chaos and confusion, she and her sister saw a huge blue monster, shaped something like a lion. Others saw visions too but were made to forget what they saw. That was then.

Now, at 23, our heroine is a marginally employed, heavy drinking woman with little initiative. But she still sees visions. And this is where our story leads us… into her world of visions… There is a lot of magic in Blackbird, and a lot of visions, good and bad. Monsters, wizards, and so on. It’s a many visioned visual buffet.

The story is a bit convoluted and filled with semi-mystical symbolism. Unfortunately, this symbolism is lost on us, as we are still getting our bearings on what Blackbird is up to. The illustrations are just that; illustrations, rather than strongly composed panels that make us move along in our story while entertaining us. The drawings are good, but there is a stiffness to the movements, and sometimes we puzzle over what is happening. And just what IS happening? There is no suspense, unfortunately.

One bright spot is that colourists Nayoung Wilson and Jen Bartel really shine here, creating a wonderfully vivid colour palette that surpass the story layouts.

I have mixed feelings about this title’s first issue. While I am curious how Blackbird will fare, the mystical side of things doesn’t seem to have a strong sense of conviction. This makes me wonder what kind of story this is. Hmmm. Mystifying.

Image Comics, Blackbird #1, $3.99 for 26 pages of content. Mature Readers

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!