Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Black Canary #1
Fletcher, Wu & Loughridge
"Black Canary" launches as an interesting premise. The lead character, Dinah, seems to be undercover, or even in hiding, as "DD" in a band called, 'Black Canary'. The comic teases some mystic elements and some conspiracy aspects weaved in a character-driven story. However, the opening issues has a lot of stumbling points as it tries too hard at getting across the mystery around the lead character. The comic is backed by very unique artwork that seems to fit the book very well. Overall the comic is a good start but could use a lot more polishing.
The best part of the comic book is that there are regular characters mixed in with super-powered ones. There are a lot of real-life-like pieces that have that wink-wink feel to them because the reader knows the lead singer is a former super-hero. Keeping the bulk of the cast as regular people helps this comic feel like a level of reality to it.
One of the drawbacks to the comic book is that it is trying to outline the supporting characters too quickly. There doesn't seem to be a nature flow to their introduction or to their personalities. The comic feels like it is desperately trying to rush through the opening to get to the surprise ending.
The primary drawback is the dialogue. At one point, a fellow band member has a sit down with DD to discuss the violence that seems to breakout in their live shows. She questions, "What's the deal? Why is there so much violence around you?" Without breaking stride she then turns more confrontational, "Are you going to come clean about your past or should we just call it quits now, before we all get killed?" Up to this point, the reader hasn't been given any reason to think that the other character or the rest of the band have suspicions about DD. How is it that we are supposed to make the leap from some fights in a few live shows are connected to the past about the lead singer? To make matters more confusing, the dialogue between the pair leads to DD quoting her sensei, which then leads the other character to ask about her past. Wouldn't it have made more sense for this part of the conversation to precede the ultimatum about the violence? This entire sequence felt like a rush-job to have the band believe there is something questionable about the lead singer without actually taking the time to explain how they got there, outside of a couple of fights. Perhaps DD is simply an angry person. It doesn't mean she has a mysterious past.
The artwork is very unique. The comic has a noir style to it. It has that Darwyn Cooke look where the pencils look simple but the coloring and shading work to support the artwork to present a detailed and sharp presentation. The comic has plenty of scenes that are of the everyday variety but the artwork brings out the appropriate tone well. The artwork may not be to everyone's taste but it definitely has a look to it that differs from the normal super-hero comic.
"Black Canary" is off to a decent start. The opening issue is bogged down by some very rushed and clunky dialogue as book rushes to have the supporting cast suspect that DD has a shady past. The comic is definitely trying to capture the character-driven feel that "Batgirl" has achieved. However, this comic doesn't take the time to lay out the setup in the same way "Batigrl" was so successful at doing. The comic is backed up with terrific, noir artwork that helps make this comic stand out from the everyday comic book. This is a comic book worth checking out by is a very average read. Hopefully the kinks in the character work will be worked out in the coming issues.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles