I wasn’t completely sold on the first issue of Black Canary- it was fun, and definitely felt like it was fitting into the portion of the DC Universe that the new Batgirl was in. I hadn’t read the Batgirl of Burnside trade before I read issue one, so I think that left me with more questions than answered- but since then, I picked up the trade and read the new Batgirl series, and I have to say that it really helped to fill in the gaps, and to flush out Dinah’s reasons for being in this band and on the road and on the run. Batgirl of Burnside was a decent story, a really good first point of contact for new readers of the character, AND a good jumping on point for Black Canary and her standalone series.
The last issue was a lot of exposition and set-up for this corner of the world that D.D. (aka the PERSON called “Black Canary”) and her band (ALSO called “Black Canary”.) are working in. I really like how Annie Wu draws in this book, I think that the band has a very unique look that really helps keep the story easy to follow- none of the characters seem to be too similar in personality or appearance to be difficult to keep separate. I enjoyed how Brendan Fletcher made D.D. more of the ringleader of the “Black Canary gang” rather than a ringer of a vocalist who was brought in to punch-up someone else’s band. I really liked the look of the hand-to-hand combat training scene, where Dinah and Heathcliff are demonstrating some fighting techniques, but the characters are just represented by solid colored silhouettes- followed by a harried and stressed looking Heathcliff. I could only imagine what it would be like for a skinny hipster who spends most of his time working on his hair to have to start working on firearms and close combat training.
The story took a bit of a departure in this issue, which I actually enjoyed- I liked that D.D. takes the Ditto character under her protection, because it shows a bit more of a mature, adult side to Dinah that this book needs. She should be the leader of her own version of “Batman and the Outsiders” except its hipsters, and musicians- not superheroes. I was pretty surprised by the twist at the end of this book- I didn’t think that the throwaway line Dinah had used a couple times in the past would have come back so quickly- but I am glad to see that the story has taken on another turn with this issue’s cliffhanger.
I don’t really know where this series is headed- there are a lot of different ways this story could go, but I like that the book isn’t predictable. The idea that a book doesn’t have an easily laid out path ahead of it makes the story that much more appealing- I like not knowing where we are headed, but I am hopeful that we are headed in a positive direction.
This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting- though, that is really a good thing. The art has really impressed me so far, and the story goes off in ways I did not see coming. I think that the character has a lot of depth and a lot of positive attributes that this series can explore, and that she can definitely (and WILL definitely) be tested quite a lot- especially soon, when the fallout from that last page cliffhanger comes back around.
This book is a fun read, and is definitely not a book for everyone- but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having new and unique books that tell stories that appeal to a new, different group of readers is a good thing- because not every book can just be two hyper-masculine-caped-heroes getting into punchfights at every turn. So this is a welcome change for comics, and hopefully these newer “young and hip” books that appeal to a more teenaged and female audience sell well and bring in more new readers so that there can be more of them- because not everything can be all about punchfights and solving riddles and saving the world, though I think that these young, female characters have plenty of world saving ability in them, too…
This book definitely appeals to young and female readers, and I hope that if there is anyone who is looking for a way to get young ladies interested in reading comics, that they put a book like this into their hands and show them that it isn’t all about the male perspective, that we can appeal to a much wider range of people than we ever have before.