Comic Review – Black Canary #5

  • Writer: Brenden Fletcher
  • Artists: Pia Guerra and Sandy Jarrell
  • Colourist: Lee Loughride
  • Letters: Steve Wands
  • Cover: Annie Wu
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Release Date: 21 October 2015

This issue seems to feature more exposition than anything else, with Dinah explaining how she ended up in the band and how the mysterious young character Ditto ended up in the band too. It feels like very little actually happens in this issue. However, we do once again see the mysterious woman in white who currently seems to be plaguing Dinah’s life (who may or not be the White Canary).

The writing for this issue is unusual for Fletcher as it mostly falls flat, such as the part of the comic where they’re all just chatting in the woods before any of the drama happens. Much of the comic is taken up by questions of what is going on, and this takes away some of the fun. The longer these mysteries are around without being resolved, the less interest they begin to generate. Kurt Lance around as a foil for Dinah enjoying her life seems just comes off as rather annoying.

Black Canary #5 cover by Annie Wu

But there are a few sweet moments in the comic which make it more interesting, such as Dinah bonding with the band and starting to realize she is enjoying her new life somewhat. Fletcher does also manage a few emotional moments in between all of the filler like the adorable moment between Lord Byron and her family, who are incredibly proud of her for being in the band.

Without going into spoilers, the ending of the issue also makes the next one look as if it will be a far more promising affair.

The art duties for this issue are not handled by Wu for once, but thankfully the artists coming in to take the reigns of this issue do a very decent job of keeping the comic afloat. The art style of Guerra and Jarrell takes a more conventional route, and as a result everyone in the comic seems to have a slightly ‘prettier’ look about them. This is good on some level as it shows Dinah in her more traditional sense – the block fringe is in and her jaw isn’t sharp enough to cut someone anymore.  This is nice to look at, but the presence of Wu’s rough and raring to fight style is missed for a book that usually does have a rather grungy feel about it, that in turn was appropriate for a book about an up and coming indie band where the lead singer can’t seem to help fighting the world.

The art team does get props for the fight scene between Dinah and the woman in white, and the look of Bo Maeve in this issue, both of which are very visually well done. Particularly Bo, who has all the elegance and anger of the snooty diva we know her to be.

You can’t get the gold with every issue, but this time round the creative team barely even manages the bronze, as despite the best efforts of the creative team this issue is mostly just the characters talking, with very little seeming to happen. Even if you have been loving the series so far, this time Black Canary just isn’t as interesting as you would hope. It’s sure to rally at some point though, so it may be worth giving this issue a miss and jumping back on for the one that follows.

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About the author

Harry Roachford

Harry is a Literature student in york who's possibly unhealthily obsessed with comic books. He started blogging because he loves to talk about comics, but mostly because his friends were getting pretty close to killing him for never shutting up about Captain Marvel. So it worked out better for everyone this way.(and definitely a lot safer)


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