Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Jen Bartel
Layout Artist: Paul Reinwand
Colors: Nayoung Wilson, Jen Bartel
Lettering: Jodi Wynne
Cover: Jen Bartel
Publisher: Image Comics
If you’re up for a contemporary fantasy in neon colors, grab hold of Blackbird and enjoy the ride. Nina Rodriguez stars as a young woman touched by tragedy and a dose of magic that she yearns to find again. This is a wholly original story that, despite it’s faltering pace now and again, promises to be spectacular.
The characters are interesting so far, though a little flat, even for a first issue. I am a little worried that some of them, including Nina herself, will fall into stereotypes. However, for now, I am hoping that they get more fleshed out and three dimensional in future episodes. The pacing was a bit off in some places, I thought. The story moved along, while still giving me enough time to immerse myself in the setting, but there were some oddly stuttering moments that kind of took me out of it. Even though the dialogue could have been a bit more inventive, it was pretty natural, so I don’t have any beef there.
There is a very…lovely aesthetic quality to the art. I know that’s an odd word to use as a description, but it’s just what came to my mind while I was reading. The visuals were pretty and appealing, but they also had this gentleness, even when the magic was displayed in the panels. The colors were bright but soft, with low level glows. All of this creates a very neat atmosphere that reminds me of The Wicked and the Divine. It was really ethereal, especially for the urban setting. Jen Bartel’s talent is undeniable; the expressions and anatomy were fantastic.
An intriguing first issue, Blackbird has the potential to be a fresh new fantasy, as I said above. I will be watching out for the next installments.