Brightest Daycare

Black Canary #4 Review

review postRyan ClarkComment
Black Canary #4 cover by Annie Wu

Black Canary #4 cover by Annie Wu

Black Canary was one of a grand total of FOUR DC Comics books that I read this week, which is a pretty high benchmark for me as of late- I haven’t been reading much DC, and definitely not consistently. I thought that the first few issues of Black Canary were interesting, and that I was unaware of the connective tissue between Black Canary and the Batgirl of Burnside books. But after reading issue one I read the Burnside trade, and after all that reading the Black Canary book started to feel a bit more cohesive. I enjoyed issue three, but I didn’t know what to make of the Maeve character- and I even brought up some things on the podcast about Black Canary #3 that ended up pretty much coming true in this issue- much to my chagrin.

I enjoyed how the book opened- with the story splitting time between Dinah and Maeve, with Black Canary on the chase, and Maeve on the run from Black Canary with Ditto in tow. I enjoyed seeing Maeve’s backstory as she is telling Ditto about herself, because Ditto doesn’t speak at all, ever. The page of the two girls doing dance routines, with Ditto following along with Maeve’s moves was really fun and endearing- almost giving me a moments pause before I realize that Maeve KIDNAPPED this girl…

The scene with Black Canary working the “detective” angle to find Ditto and Maeve was really dynamic too- the visuals for that page were very engaging; I really liked it a lot. It would have been nice though, to see Dinah, after beating down on the guy trying to carjack at the gas station that she goes back inside to the gas station attendant, and drops this thoroughly beaten man in front of him and says “HERE are my credentials, bub!”. Though, that is mostly just nitpicking the writing of the story, but it did almost FEEL like that was where things were heading…

Seeing the moment when Dinah takes over for Maeve in the band “Black Canary” in another flashback sequence was interesting, but I didn’t really feel that much emotional attachment to Maeve throughout this story. I wish that she could have been a bit more dynamic character, and that her motivations could have been a bit more (or COMPLETELY) less surface-level. I really liked seeing the moment when **SPOILERS** Amanda Waller shows up to take Ditto BACK into custody!!! As if Ditto is some weird alien monster creature that has been imprisoned by The Wall and her cronies before…

I also wasn’t sure what to make of the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow moments where we see the mysterious Storm Shadow/White Ninja Woman who intervenes to keep Waller from taking Ditto back into custody, along with scenes showing Dinah fighting her frustration and anger at being unable to figure out where the heck Ditto has been taken to. The end of this issue really didn’t feel that compelling- it was a pretty lazy turn for the story, and Maeve getting her **SPOILERS** Sonic Scream powers as some sort of dollar-store-knockoff version of Black Canary. I thought that it really makes Maeve a hollow character, and that it robs her entirely of any emotional connection that I had built up for her up to this point…

I love this art, Pia Guerra really makes a lot of creative and dynamic layouts and positions for the characters, and that Brendan Fletcher has a knack for writing these character’s voices well. I would like to see the arc for Maeve take a more gripping turn, and to find out more specifics for Ditto and her background and abilities. I also would LOVE to see The Wall come back and be a bigger part of the Black Canary story.

This book has been interesting so far, and I don’t think that this issue was bad, by any stretch of the imagination. I loved the artwork, and I really like the way Dinah behaves in this book, I just hope that she can get a more dynamic and interesting bad guy for her to beat up on. Maeve doesn’t seem like she would EVER actually pose a threat, because she has comparable sonic powers, but NONE of the close combat skills. So I doubt that her, without some major physical upgrades, will become nothing more than a mild irritant.

This book will hopefully keep doing things in this “Batgirl-ed” corner of the DC Universe, even though things will be back to the tried and true style of comics creating, because this is a new and different comic book, and one that could be a great gateway drug for comic collecting for younger and more female audiences. If you are on the fence about this book- I think it is definitely worth checking out, because it has a lot of things that you don’t get to see often in a more “traditional” superhero comic book. As long as the book develops a stronger protagonist for the rest of this arc, and for the next story, I think that this comic will really be something to see.