DC’s all-new Black Canary #1 flicks between mysterious back stories, shadowy ne’er do wells and constant reminders that our heroine D.D. is more comfortable in combat than she is as lead singer of Gotham 4-piece Black Canary. So can she pull out all the stops and put on an exciting enough show to keep a whole series running?
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Annie Wu
Price: £1.99 from Comixology
The main thing you need to know from the get-go is that Black Canary is now a four-piece band based in Gotham City, so Black Canary is less of a solo title and more of a group act. Inevitably lead singer D.D takes centre stage, but her love of stomping heads and taking names, rather than being on stage, means Black Canary is more about her than it is about the other characters.
The story begins on the front page of music zine “Burnside Tofu” reporting on Black Canary’s latest gig and the punch-up that ensued. Turns out violence follows the band as a whole and is drawing the wrong kind of attention. This undercurrent of violence is laced throughout the story telling and, while D.D. tries to keep it separate from her band mates, that was never going to turn out well. While it’s nice to see a woman having a violent streak in her and not shying away from a traditionally masculine trait, the repetition of head stomping does get a little boring quite quickly.
There’s also a lot of hinting about mysterious back stories, “What I’ll do when the record label pays me” and not a lot else. By the end of issue #1 you’ll come away with not knowing a whole lot about the band as individuals and that is frustrating. This drip feed is on a very slow speed indeed.
Wu’s artwork is beautiful and the colour schemes really reflect the mood of each scene, whether it’s a fight or a sound check. The stylistic choices for each character (both on and off stage) are different enough to make them individuals, but not so different that it wouldn’t be realistic for them to gel as a band. Certainly D.D.’s entrance on stage is fabulous and could quite easily have been the cover art all by itself.