I have to admit, after reading the preview for Black Canary’s solo book, I wasn’t too thrilled about her new adventure. The premise and the art style let me know that I was in for a story with a lighter tone than most of the books that I read or review, but I just wasn’t impressed after my first glimpse. Now that the first issue is here, I’m glad to say that things are a lot better than I initially thought.
Now there isn’t any groundbreaking material in this title, but it does present an interesting dilemma for Dinah Drake aka Black Canary (Black Canary is the name of her band as well). Dinah, or D.D. which is her stage name, is setting out to get her life in order. Performing as the lead singer of the band is just what she needs at this time. With the money made from the band’s tour, Dinah can restart her life, and return to her normal way of things. Only problem is that her past will not let her off so easily. Five out of the last seven of Black Canary’s gigs have ended in Dinah smashing in some heads. Promoters and venues are becoming weary about booking Black Canary with all the risks of violence and property damage. Of course, controversy sells so the band is still able to book gigs. However, strong tensions are felt amongst the band as they try to continue their tour and hope that their dream doesn’t get cut short because of their prolific, but destructive lead singer.
We’re introduced to the other members of Black Canary as Dinah interacts with them throughout the story. Heathcliff, who appears to be the tour manager and in charge of the merchandise is a young character, fresh out of school (I’m guessing a recent college graduate). He comes off as a very meek individual, but is quite perceptive as he can see that something is bothering Dinah. He understands why she’s taken this job, but he’s not too sure she enjoys it. Byron aka Lord Byron is the band’s drummer. One of the more vocal members of the band, Byron demands to know what’s going on with their lead singer. Dinah’s showtime scuffles are threatening the lives of the band, fans, and their dream of continuing their record deal. In addition, the band also includes Paloma Terrific their pianist, and Ditto, their young guitarist. Paloma is very reluctant and passive aggressive towards Dinah as she is not a fan of all of the trouble surrounding the band, and Ditto is pretty young as well as mute to offer any type of feeling towards anything at the moment.
After a few conversations amongst the members, the band is ready for their next show in the city of Detroit. I know the band is hoping for a non-violent show to celebrate the release of their EP (which was released on this exact day in the story), but if there’s anywhere to expect a rough night, the Motor City is the place. Black Canary start off with a great set and are rocking the house when all of a sudden, disaster strikes. A trio of suit wearing, bespectacled patrons have followed the band on their tour and begin to throw Dinah off her game. These aren’t music execs checking out the next big thing to hit the airwaves, they’re some sort of shape-shifting shadow monsters! Unable to continue with doom in close proximity, Dinah cuts the show short to take on these shadowy threats. As the fight escalates, Black Canary’s lead singer uses her iconic Canary Cry to literally bring the house down, dropping the roof onto the dark creatures. Before the monsters escape from the scene, they deliver a cryptic message that someone is coming and that they will be bringing death along with them. Tonight’s trouble wasn’t because of Dinah, there’s something mysterious about Ditto that has garnered the attention of someone dark and powerful.
As I mentioned before, the story was a lot more intriguing than imagined it would have been. Writer Brenden Fletcher delivers a story with enough mystery and intrigue for a #1 issue to get readers interested in coming back. I may not know a whole lot about Black Canary, but I’ve always been a fan. I initially felt like the whole band premise was just a goofy gimmick to appeal to a broader audience and make their characters appear cooler. It may be true, but the gimmick works. I prefer the more serious, darker tone stories depending on the character(s), but I see how and why it makes sense to make this a lighter comic book. It’s not as silly as some of Harley’s numerous adventures, but the story still has a lighthearted feel. The style and feel of the book is similar to the Teen Titans. Artist Annie Wu has a unique style that has simple backgrounds, drawing the focus towards cartoony character designs. It reflects the overall tone of the book. Lee Loughridge, the colorist uses an almost black & white or muted approach to the characters color while using bright pinks, purples, and orange in the backgrounds. Some panels look better than others, but for the most part the art is very consistent throughout the book.
- You’re interested in seeing Black Canary’s new journey
- You’re a fan of Annie Wu
- You want a fun story involving martial arts, spies, and rock-n-roll
This was a decent start to the new title, and interesting twist on Black Canary. Most of the history that we associate with Dinah isn’t necessarily gone. We can just assume that it’s part of her past that she’s desperately trying to hide. There’s even a small scene where a reporter catches Dinah off guard when they ask about a previous marriage. There’s the original Dinah and her daughter Dinah who takes up the Canary mantle later. I’m not too sure which one this is or if they’ve just merged the histories together, but what we have here is a rockin’ entry into a new chapter in Canary’s life.
SCORE: 7 / 10