Last month, I described Blackbird as an urban fantasy story. After reading issue #2, I realized that might be a misnomer. It’s more like urban mythology.
Sam Humphries, and Jen Bartel, with Paul Reinwald on layouts, Triona Farrell on color art, Jodi Wynne on letters, and Dylan Todd doing design work, continue world-building in this issue. It’s mostly tantalizing breadcrumbs, but what breadcrumbs are they.
Nina’s sister has been taken by the feline dragon-like creature on the issue’s cover. Her only lead is the young man she encountered just before Marisa disappeared–a wizard-like being called a Paragon. She dives in headfirst, finding Clint the Paragon, but also drawing the attention of an assassin!
Bartel and Reinwald’s work really brings this world to life. It reminds me of The Wicked + The Divine but more dreamy and a little more surreal. There are also a few great moments of action, as Nina starts to discover magic around her.
Humphries forges Nina into an interesting, if not completely likeable, protagonist. Her actions are rash, and she’s a major mess, but she’s a mess that we want to see succeed. He also lays the groundwork for a grand world just outside of our view, with a different take on magic and demigods from what we’ve normally seen.
Farrell jumped into color art with this issue, and meshes perfectly with what’s already been established. She uses a pastel-tinged palette that adds to the fantastic and surreal nature of Bartel’s art. It really looks great.
This is one of the most promising creator-owned launches this year, and I really look forward to the rest of the series.
Blackbird #2 is available now from Image Comics.