Friday, August 14, 2015


BLACK CANARY (2015) #1

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Brenden Fletcher
ART: Annie Wu
COLORS: Lee Loughridge
LETTERS: Steve Wands
COVER: Annie Wu
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (August 2015)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“The Most Dangerous Band in America”

DC Comics' superhero, Black Canary, first appeared in what is known as the “Golden Age” of comic books.  She was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino and debuted in Flash Comics #86 (cover date:  August 1947).  Black Canary was one of DC Comics' earliest female superheroes.

Her alter-ego was Dinah Drake, and she was a member of and appeared in both the Justice Society of America and Justice League of America comic books.  Eventually, Dinah Drake gave way to a younger version of the character, Dinah Laurel Lance (who was at one time depicted as the daughter of Dinah Drake).  Dinah Lance's super-power is the “Canary Cry,” a high-pitched sonic scream that can shatter objects and incapacitate enemies, and she is also a world-class martial artist.

As part of DC Comics' new publishing initiative, “DC You,” Lance is the star of a new comic book entitled Black Canary.  It is written by Brenden Fletcher, drawn by Annie Wu, colored by Lee Loughridge, and lettered by Steve Wands.

When Black Canary #1 (“The Most Dangerous Band in America”) opens, Dinah is the lead singer of a four-piece band called “Black Canary.”  On keys is Paloma TerrificLord Byron pounds the drum kit.  The “silent wunderkind,” Ditto, is the guitarist.  Talk about kick out the jams, mutha...., Black Canary is literally tearing up the venues in which her band plays.  She is a trouble magnet, but what she discovers about her band will change all their lives.

The snarky part of me thinks that this Black Canary comic book won't last more than 12 issues; actually, I don't think that it will go past eight issues.  This is not a bad comic book, but, at this point, its uniqueness may not save it.  Black Canary is a like a shallow Vertigo Comics spin on Eisner Award winner Jaime Hernandez's classic “Lucas” comics in the long-running alt-comix title, Love and Rockets.  Hernandez was able to convey the heady noise-making of punk rock in both the static images and graphical language of comic books.  Black Canary doesn't bring the noise.

Black Canary has potential, but sometimes, quirky and interesting isn't enough.  Black Canary needs a great second issue to suggest a long run.  Hell, a third and fourth great issue wouldn't hurt.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact the author for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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