Black Canary Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming Written by Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Annie Wu
Published by: DC Comics on March 8, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Graphic Novels, Superheroes
Plot: Dinah Lance is broke and homeless, but when she signs a one year recording contract to snag some cash and rebuild her life she quickly gets a lot more than she bargained for.
Review: I’m new to Black Canary as a character. She’s always been on my radar since I follow the Bat family closely, and I’ve cracked open a Suicide Squad or two, but I’ve never read one where she is the headliner. In truth, I often find it hard to connect with the female characters that DC cranks out (even though I’m a girl) and I largely overlooked her. A complete mistake on my part.
D.D. (Dinah) has a true punk rock charm that I instantly dug and I feel this volume was a solid jumping off point for those new to the character. While Fletcher doesn’t give you every detail about how D.D. ended up with the band or what came before, he does give readers enough to keep with the storyline. The plot revolves around the band trying to figure out why all their gigs are riddled with hostile rival bands itching for a fight, all of which tie directly to their new lead singer. The other bandmates aren’t too enthusiastic about the drama that comes with her and when their youngest member, Ditto gets swept up in some conflict things come to a head. It’s not the deepest stuff, but it had enough substance to hold my attention. In all honesty it feels like a grownup version of Jem, but that isn’t meant as a criticism. As a child of the 80’s I grew up on punk rock, trippy cartoons, and Count Chocula. Stuff like this is my life force. The one minor drawback is that things sew up a little too neatly in the end, but I can live with it and there is still room for the series to grow.
My favorite component of Black Canary, however, is the artwork. Annie Wu’s use of heavily saturated colors and bold line work goes a long way towards giving Black Canary the aesthetic quality it needs to keep its authenticity. The characters don’t read like it’s supposed to be some pretty princess rendition of superheroines, and Wu goes for grit rather than glam. As with her work in Hawkeye, she doesn’t draw waifs with boobs either. I respect Wu for that. These characters seem like they can actually take a punch but are believably feminine, which is a nice shift to see in comics.
Overall, I’m pleased with this kick-off and I’ll be watching the series to see how it unfolds.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: Anyone who wants a good time and is interested in seeing tough chicks in fishnets kicking ass and chewing bubblegum will be pleased with this volume.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*