Black Canary #3
I love the premise of this Black Canary revamp — the hero’s on the road with a scrappy band — and I like the way we’re already learning more about the bigger picture. Kid-looking Ditto, who plays guitar, is being pursued by a mysterious group, and this issue lays out the back story, via Kurt, Black Canary’s estranged husband (!) and member of a secret military organization. (I hope it turns out to be related to what’s going on in Grayson.)
There’s a bit more action than I care for. I know, it’s a superhero comic, but I love the characters so much I want to spend more time with them and get to know more about them, not watch them punch things. I did find it interesting how Canary’s battle with faceless thugs on top of the tour bus is intercut with “performance footage”. Brendan Fletcher (writer) and Annie Wu (artist) are really making the most of the musical concept.
It’s a sitcom-y like idea, but I laughed when band manager Hannibal pops into the middle of a fight to yell, “they’ll hold our spot for twenty more minutes… if we’re not on stage by then, we’re off the bill!” Since I’ve seen every Monkees episode, the “we’ve got to get to the venue!” premise wasn’t new, but I haven’t seen it done quite this way before. Particularly once I noticed that there’s a tooth flying by Hannibal’s head. Humor! And the time pressure lends more emphasis to the usual beat-’em-up fight.
The last few pages provide a new revelation about Ditto and bring back bitter ex-band member Bo Maeve, which promises entertaining drama to come. And bless them for being really clear about the surprise in the last-page reveal (unlike other comics). I also like the “Burnside Tofu” fanzine pages, which provide more history and character background in a way that supports the series concept. Black Canary is fun, suspenseful, action-packed, and emotional. It’s a good read.