I’ve wanted to read a Black Canary comic book for a few years now. My first introduction to the character was through The CW’s “Arrow.” I was aware of who she was beforehand, through the comics, animated series, and “Smallville”, but it wasn’t until Caity Lotz’s performance as Sara Lance a.k.a. The Canary that I fell in love. After the third season of “Arrow”, introducing Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) as the Black Canary, I knew I had to take some time to find the New 52 issues that featured the DC Comics vigilante. I read a few “Birds of Prey” issues and as much as I enjoyed them, nothing stuck. Today marks the long-awaited debut of Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu’s “Black Canary” issue 1. Does this new DC title rock as much as it looks? Let’s find out.
“Black Canary” issue 1, first and foremost, doesn’t look like your normal mainstream comic book. With week three of DC Comics titles, post-Convergence and under the DC YOU initiative, it’s easy to spot this new approach they’re taking with their lineup. Not only are the stories more representative of the world we live in and featuring prominent characters of all ethnicities, but the approach to storytelling and art is more consistent with the kind of stories readers are favoring now. “Black Canary” issue 1 is a DC Comics superhero story told in a very un-DC/un-superhero like way. Just imagine the conversation:
“The new Lil’ Depressed Boy issue by Sina Grace is really good. What about you? What’cha Reading?”,
“I just picked up Black Canary. It’s really good.”,
“Oh, who does that? Image? Oni?”,
“No, no. It’s by DC Comics.”,
“Yes. DC Comics.”
Are You Ready?
Where Black Canary Goes, Trouble Follows
Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu’s take on Black Canary is as punk rock as you could get. If Gwen Stefani and Pink became super heroes (which many could argue they already are), they’d be Fletcher and Wu’s Black Canary. She’s the lead in her own band and just as the headline in the Burnside Tofu magazine reads, “Where Black Canary Goes, Trouble Follows.” They’re a four-piece band from Gotham City and while currently on tour, five of their shows have resulted in violence. The abrupt action isn’t due to wild antics on part of the band, no. The “more of a UFC fighter than a singer” frontwoman for the band Black Canary has often involved herself in saving her fans from jerky audience members, armed gunmen, and various dangers that have threatened those she cares about. And danger has a way of following her wherever she goes which piques interest in her past. There’s a real, rock n’ roll, magazine feel to the book, courtesy of Annie Wu’s artwork. The detail and interiors are quite impressive and in many ways bring to mind the work of Babs Tarr.
“Black Canary” issue 1 is a fun debut issue for the Birds of Prey alum. Fletcher has added enough mystery to make this series worth returning to, especially with the “Musical Marvel or Menace” aspect to the plot. I wasn’t sure what to make of the title when I first learned of the rock band premise, but there’s a wonderful and catchy quality to the issue. I’m not too versed in “Jem and the Holograms” comics, cartoon, and movie, but the aspect of the band Black Canary does feel like it should be everything that the “Jem and the Holograms” movie isn’t. After finishing Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu’s first issue, I certainly cannot wait to get back on the road with the Black Canary!
Black Canary #1
Writer: Fletcher, Brendan
Artist: Wu, Annie
Cover Artist: Wu, Annie
Format: FC, 32pg., COMIC
On Sale June 17, 2015
Publisher DC Comics
Diamond Id: APR150183