Black Canary is proving to be a slow burn. That may be frustrating for some, but I see much potential in the book to watch Brenden Fletcher build a foundation for this amazing DC character. Canary’s current world is being fleshed out as the backdrop for whatever daunting scenarios that are bound to come her way. You can even catch more information on the direction of Black Canary from Brenden Fletcher himself here.

With disgruntled fans, angry promoters, and alien tar monsters roaming around, Dinah Lance clearly sees the need to teach her team how to defend themselves properly. Of course, time spent practicing their throws and target practice can make them feel a little rusty at their main profession–music. At least that’s how Paloma feels as the band Black Canary learn the basics of self-defense. The controversial crew has seen its fair share of trouble since embarking on tour. Ticking off venue owners and garnering the attention of some wicked force that employs the use of shape shifting tar aliens is just all in a day’s work for Dinah and company. However, all around trust is something that’s not too familiar with them.

Dinah’s training regimen may not be high on the list of things her band mates want to do, but she seems it of high importance. Not only for them, but for the sake of their youngest member, Ditto. The guitarist of Black Canary is a young prodigy on the guitar. She’s wildly popular, and fan and columnists both notice that she usually remains hidden when not performing. The deal with Ditto is that she was the target of the band’s last attack. Not to mention, the silent musician has a special ability that occurs whenever she plays. The story really didn’t go into it, but Ditto’s guitar notes are similar to the effect that Dinah’s Canary Cry has. There’s something unique about the young artist. Now, to hopefully figure it out before terror strikes again.

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The drama heightens as the group gets the feeling that someone is watching them. Black Canary surveys the landscape, finding nothing in sight. She feels spooked regardless, and the band proceeds to move locations. As the reader, we see that there’s a large blimp using stealth technology to appear invisible as they watch Black Canary’s movements. Whoever is behind this is a large organization to be providing this kind of tech to keep tabs on a up and coming band. Obviously, they can’t check them out on iTunes or what until the tour hits a city near them. Continuing with the band them, issue #2 provides insight into the former lead singer of the group. A pink and black haired beauty makes her way to onto Black Canary’s bus before being quickly “escorted” off the vehicle after startling Paloma and Bryan. The former lead singer for the group before Dinah, Maeve explains her connection to the band. It’s a small taste of diving deeper into who these characters are. Soon after the comedic breaks in the story, things turn sour in a hurry. Dinah and Ditto are attacked while in a music store. The assailant is well trained, and even has a vocal inhibitor to quell any Canary Cries that Dinah might release. Still, Black Canary is one of the world’s top martial artists and is able to defend herself with a flurry of hits using instruments as weapons.

Spoiler
Black Canary pulls back the man’s mask, revealing that the man who attacked was her husband, Larry Lance. A revelation like that is interesting. What is the group that he works for, and what do they want with Dinah and/or Ditto?

While not my favorite, the art of Annie Wu fits nicely with this title. Mind you, this is my first real experience with Wu’s material that I can recall right off the bat, but I still find it quite enjoyable. The pencils match the tone of the story, and I could see it working perfectly if this was a cartoon on television of the same nature. Annie Draws diagrams of the moves Canary painfully teaches to her band mates. There’s even a surreal set of panels that appear when Dinah is talking to Ditto. Moments such as those shows that the book is fun, and doesn’t take itself so serious. That’s a reason why I agree that this particular style was a reasonable and right choice for the book.

Pages like this remind of Guitar Hero loading screens
Pages like this remind of Guitar Hero loading screens

Recommended if:

  • You want to see a musical beat down
  • You plan on following Canary’s adventures
  • You dig the band portions

Overall:

The band aspect is kind of neat. I like the little touches that they place in each issue that makes it feel like you’re really keeping up with the band. It’s sort of like following Paramore and realizing that Haley Williams had a dark and mysterious past. With that being said, hopefully with more of Dinah’s past coming to light, they’ll focus on more what makes Black Canary, Black Canary. Dinah and Ditto are currently the most interesting characters, but I can see Paloma garnering some extra attention. Not to mention the introduction of the band’s former lead singer was a nice touch. I’d like to see the stakes raised a little to build cohesiveness in the group or cause a rift. Also, maybe some gnarly mosh pits. Only two issues in, so I’m looking forward to fleshing out Dinah’s world in the next coming installments.

SCORE: 6.5 / 10