REVIEW: ‘Blackbird,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blackbird #4 - But Why Tho?

Blackbird #4 is published by Image Comics and from writer Sam Humphries, artist Jen Bartel, layout artist Paul Reinwand, colorist Triona Farrel, letters Jodi Wynne, designer Dylan Todd, and editor Jim Gibbons. Following the sudden revelation that Nina’s mom is alive and actually a paragon referred to as “The Great Beast,” this issue opens up with Nina trying to reconnect with her mom, only to get on of the coldest brush offs ever. Her mom, to concerned with the immediate political ramifications of Paragon culture that will undoubtedly ensue from the night’s festivities has neither the time or inclination to humor her daughter with answers to the questions she both has had her entire life, as well as the ones brought up by her mother’s sudden reappearance.

In this scene, we are also introduced to Clint’s dad, Carter, the head of another paragon tribe and equally concerned with the events that have transpired. There is a short two-page moment where he and Gloria( Nina’s mom) discuss politics and alliances, much of which the reader cannot fully understand as names and places have no special relevance. The political discourse is broken up nicely by a couple interactions with the kids, and some internal monologuing from Nina, who helps the reader get through some of the names and groups as she is just as lost as the reader.

Jen Bartel’s drawing is, as always, a treat for the eyes. Additionally, the color palette used by Triona Farrel gives the imagery a unique eye-catching feel, that helps fully realize Bartel’s drawings. Sam Humphries writing continues to progress both the story and character development at an ideal pace. He uses Nina’s experiences to reveal a modern magical world, while at the same time using the world to reveal the character she is to become.

While her development certainly falls into the superheroic vein of taking things better than anyone probably would, he does take the time to show Nina’s internal struggle in regards to coming to terms with all the changing rules she has found herself confronted by. The rest of the cast is also interesting but haven’t been on page enough to develop just yet. However, I’m looking forward to learning more about them. 

I continue to find myself more compelled with the world being crafted in these issues, both in the approach to magic and in a  desire to further understand the structure of paragon society. Plus as someone who usually isn’t a fan of the “hidden magical world all around us” trope, my enjoyment in this world truly says something. The world,  coupled with my eagerness to watch Nina grow more and more into the strong protagonist role I can see right over the horizon, and the perfectly set twist ending that has capped each issue leaves me so excited to get my hands on the next issue.

This issue has definitely been the high point of what has already been a stellar run, mixing necessary world-building seamlessly with drama and genuine emotion to keep the book moving and the reader hooked.

Blackbird #4 is available at comic book stores and online retailers everywhere.


Blackbird #4
5

TL;DR

This issue has definitely been the high point of what has already been a stellar run, mixing necessary world-building seamlessly with drama and genuine emotion to keep the book moving and the reader hooked.