Blackbird has a lot of elements found in most urban fantasies: secret societies, hidden buildings, magical families, clashes with the mundane world and protagonists stumbling into the unknown. One of Blackbird’s main strengths is Nina. She is a great protagonist in that she has to overcome many hurdles, including herself. Her life has led to self-destructive habits and self-doubt. The main satisfaction in this issue is seeing Nina fight through her doubts and prove that you can do anything with anger, confidence and a shovel.
The story here ticks along and Sam Humphries does a good job here of giving the reader information about the status quo between the Cabals themselves and law enforcement’s stance in very natural ways. It’s part of the story instead of feeling like an info dump. I’m really intrigued with a lot of the story elements here, and there’s a feeling that something is going on with someone pulling strings in the background. In particular, there are a lot of questions of the motive of the cat. Like last issue, they do a good job of ending on a dramatic note that makes you want to read the next issue.
Speaking of the ending, Jen Bartel’s work throughout is great but the one page spreads that she does here are magnificent. They really convey the emotions and have a lot of power with great framing. In fact, the layouts and framing of the panels throughout this issue are really good. This is a really good-looking book and it’s not just because of Bartel’s art. Triona Farrell’s colours here are a fantastic fit. They’re great at capturing the mood, they bring the characters to life and the textures and backgrounds are really good. Blackbird has quickly become one of my favourite current Image series.