Spinning out of the newest Batgirl run comes Black Canary! Is it good?
Black Canary #1 (DC Comics)
The band Black Canary is building up a rather dangerous reputation as one of the most dangerous bands in the country and it’s all thanks to their new frontwoman, Dinah Drake. She has a reputation for causing lots of fights and destruction of property, whether it be because people start a fight with her or she jumps in to protect people. It’s going to be one very long tour for this band, especially now that three mysterious individuals have set their eyes on them.
For the first issue of a new series, this was great. Even though it’s spinning out of the Batgirl title (especially since Brenden Fletcher is the writer here), you don’t really need to read that comic to understand what is happening outside of maybe wanting a few specific details about what led to this point. Heck, you don’t even need to check out the sneak peek to follow what is going on here. This comic is very new reader friendly, providing you a good enough foundation to understand what kind of character Black Canary is and showing her interact with others and in action. I’m not sure how old time fans of the character will react to this new status quo of hers, but it seems more promising than the last series she was a main character in.
In addition to being inclusive for newcomers, the first issue is overall pretty solid. It sets things up pretty well through a combination of exposition with the characters and music style interviews and article clips throughout the first half. It never feels too unnatural and you get a decent grasp of the situation and the bandmates. The second half is when the plot kicks in (along with a big action scene) and we see a storyline start to develop when the odd characters from the ending of the sneak peek appear, finding out what they are up to. Overall, this issue does a great job of balancing the setup, the story, and the action all at once without one part overwhelming the others.
The writing in the comic is also handled well for the most part. The characterization is good like mentioned previously, providing enough details and moments (whether big or large) for new and old readers alike to get an idea of everyone’s personalities. Maybe you might not connect to everyone, but the comic at least gives you enough to come away liking Dinah’s character. The pacing and story structure are both good, allowing for a story that moves at a respectable speed and never becomes hard to follow. There was only one little part where it was tricky and that was due to word balloon placement and not knowing exactly who was talking at first (no one was visible on panel). The dialogue was good and there are no real complaints to be had with it. Just a well-written issue all around.
Dinah is the Spider-Man of this world I see.
The artwork is brought to us by Annie Wu of Hawkeye fame and she does a terrific job. The layouts are constructed very well; easy to follow and allowing for some solid movement and flow with the story and characters. The layouts especially shine when it comes to depicting the action and allowing for rather natural and energetic fighting instead of static and stale images. The characters look great, with a surprisingly good range of emotion and expression in them (for instance, check out the first page and look at Bryon’s expression in the picture. It says so much about the situation that is going on). Heck, there are even some subtle and small details you may not even catch unless you reread it or look through the pages closely that are appreciated. If I had to nitpick or find any fault with the artwork, there is, at rare times, some odd perspective and size difference between characters and objects and there was also a scene where one character is depicted on the top bunk but shown just a little bit later on the bottom bunk. However, I’m reaching for problems at this point, so let’s just wrap by saying that artwork was fantastic here.
Is It Good?
Black Canary #1 is a great start to a new series with a strong opening, a fun main character, solid writing, and great looking artwork. This is a real good outing and I can’t wait to see more from this comic in the future.