Review: Sweeping Up The Ashes With ‘Blackwood: The Mourning After #1’

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

With the death of Dean Ogden and the catastrophe that ensued, acting Dean Colby, Jamar, Reiko, Wren, Stephen, and the professors are left to try and rebuild Blackwood from what remains. Reiko, Wren, and Stephen still have their very lives tied to the fate of the school thanks to Ogden and the book from which that spell came was stolen by Ogden’s monkey and remains unfound. The professors organized around Colby to decide what to do next and Jamar sends the rest of the students, who are unaware of what happened at Blackwood, back home. Afterwards, Jamar, Reiko, Wren, and Stephen bond over beer.

Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 cover by Veronica Fish
Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 cover by Veronica Fish

Blackwood: The Mourning After #1, as the name indicates, takes place in the aftermath of the initial Blackwood story. Dean Ogden and Dennis are both dead and the school barely survived the disaster. Reiko, Wren, and Stephen’s fates are intertwined with the school thanks to Ogden’s spell, so the survival of the school is in their utmost interest.

It’s a fairly calm and slow issue outside of some threats and hints of what’s to come. This issue is all about the cleanup process and how the characters are coping with everything. It’s a charming issue as a result. We get a better idea of who our leads are. We get to see how the relationships develop, how the school handles a situation like this, and an idea of where everything will go from here.

Worry not, there is some action, intrigue, and horror in this comic. Death still looms over Blackwood and it’s in question as to who all will survive what’s to come.

Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 art by Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, and letterer Greg McKenna
Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 art by Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, and letterer Greg McKenna

Veronica and Andy Fish ensure that the comic looks damn good, with distinct and expressive characters, both gorgeous and frightening expressions of magic and the occult, and memorable scenery. The color work is ominous and otherworldly, fitting for a book such as this. This is an all-around good-looking book.

Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 is a promising start for the second volume of the Blackwood saga. We get a deeper look at our lead characters as they try to recover from the horror and bloodshed that came before as well as prepare for whatever comes next. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Blackwood: The Mourning After #1 comes to us from writer Evan Dorkin, artists Veronica Fish and Andy Fish, letterer Greg McKenna, cover artist Veronica Fish, and variant cover artist Evan Dorkin with Sarah Dyer.

Final Score: 8/10

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