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Review – Blackbird #5 (Image Comics)

Blackbird #5 (Image Comics) cover B (detail) by Jenny Frison
Blackbird #5
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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Summary

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Jen Bartel
Layout Artist: Paul Reinwand
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Designer: Dylan Todd
Editor: Jim Gibbons
Main Cover: Jen Bartel
Variant Cover: Jenny Frison
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: February 13th, 2019

Blackbird #5 shows us the ramifications of Nina finally taking a stand for herself. Here we see her character begin her transformation into something so much bigger.

 

Blackbird #5 Has Nina Taking Charge of Her Own Destiny

Blackbird has quickly proven to be one of the more striking comics available right now. Alongside beautiful images, it also has an emotionally intense plot. Blackbird #5 gives us a moment to truly see the potential of the Paragons’ world. It also gives Nina a chance to get some payback and finally learn the truth about her past. It is not a truth that she has been seeking, but it is still one she desperately needed to hear.

Writing

Blackbird #5 (Image Comics) cover A by Jen Bartel
Cover A by Jen Bartel

Sam Humphries has done a wonderful job of building up the emotional intensity of Blackbird. In the most recent issue, Blackbird #5, we finally see all those emotions come to a head, resulting in an explosive moment for the main character.

There was a lot that happened in this issue to get Nina to that point, naturally. This issue takes every truth that she (and thus we) have taken for granted and flips it all over the place. Nothing is quite what it seems. Some of that is for the best, while other truths will leave emotional scars.

Humphries managed to cram a lot of revelations into this issue, and yet it didn’t feel rushed. Better yet, all of the revelations made complete sense when looking back at the story so far. They fit in perfectly with what we’ve been told and, actually, go a long way in explaining some of the questions that have been hovering over the series.

While the overall tone of the issue is heavier and more along the serious side of things, there is a moment or two when we’re free to laugh. One of them is somewhat unexpected, because of what is happening around her, but it also suits Nina so perfectly that you just can’t help but laugh. Those lighter moments really do perfectly balance out the issue.

Art

As per usual, the artwork for Blackbird #5 is absolutely striking. The cover image alone is beautiful and eye-catching—all credit to Jen Bartel for that. It’s one of those covers that hints at what is to come, and those are my favorite sort.

Inside this issue, we can see the results of the combined efforts of the creative team. Jen Bartel is the artist, while Paul Reinwand is the layout artist (not something you see every day). Triona Farrell did the colors, which I’ll admit are half the reason why I love this series so much, and Jodi Wynne did the lettering.

There were a lot of changes made to existing characters in this issue. That can’t have been an easy task. Some were given a complete overhaul, yet they were still identifiable. Other impressive points include the way magic was shown and the multiple cats that made appearances (each having two forms as well). There was also a flashback in this issue, one that is immediately apparent and distinct.

Conclusion

Blackbird #5 is one of the more intense issues in this series, which is saying something. It’s absolutely worth reading if for nothing else than to see the gorgeous artwork and dramatic reveals that occur within its pages.

I can honestly tell you that while I had theories about this plot, I in no way, shape, or form expected what happened here. Though looking back on it all, it makes perfect sense. In my opinion, that makes for some of the best reveals out there. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next in Nina’s story, as it’s sure to be spectacular.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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