Blackbird #3

Written by: Sam Humphries
Art by: Jen Bartel
Colors by: Triona Farrell
Letters by: Jodi Wynne

Blackbird is fast becoming one of the things I look forward to most on Wednesdays. It’s only in its third issue but the pacing is a whirlwind of world building and driving the story forward. Humphries and Bartel don’t waste time setting up the lore and adding in a tonne of exposition.

Within this third issue Nina finally gets closer to the paragon world and discovers more about the things she witnessed as a teenager. And Nina becomes more and more determined to rescue her sister, trying to not run away from difficult things, and trying not to be too absorbed by her own obsessions and desires to be part of the paragon world. But the people she has access to equally don’t yet have all the answers for her.

In this issue some flashbacks provide context for Nina’s relationship with her sister and her mother. These serve to drive the story forward, and not just to provide context for the current day situation Nina finds herself in. Additionally we are confronted with more information about the paragons and their magic by seeing these in action. Blackbird is a lot of ‘show don’t tell’ and it works like a charm, in a large part due to Jen Bartel’s brilliant artwork.

Which leads me to the character design in this comic. It’s exciting each time you are introduced to a new character in Blackbird, even if it is just in the background. All the design of the paragons has such great detail and sets the tone of the comic perfectly. The flashbacks that occur at the start of this issue perfectly offset the bright and dazzling designs of the paragons. The flashbacks instead are slightly muted whilst keeping Nina in her signature turquoise and purple colors. It makes reading this story such a joy.

8/10

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