Review – Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast (Image Comics)

  • Writing - 9/10
  • Art - 10/10
  • Overall - 9.5/10
User Review
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Blackbird Vol. 1
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Jen Bartel
Layout Artist: Paul Reinwand
Colorist: Triona Farrell, Jen Bartel, & Nayoung Wilson
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Designer: Dylan Todd
Editor: Jim Gibbons
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature

Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is one of the most vibrant and enchanting series out there. In a world where magic is secret, Nina knows the truth. But will anybody believe her?


Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is One of the Most Vibrant Graphic Novels Out There


Blackbird is one of those series that’ll catch your eye and make you want to look closer. The cover art alone is striking – and attention-grabbing. Trust me, that’s how I found this series. The artwork within and the plot hold up to the expectations set by the covers.

The first book in the series, Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is striking, but it is also an enchanting read. Nina lives in a world where magic is real, but it’s hidden. She knows that much is true, even if nobody else will believe her. Unfortunately, she still has to hunt for the rest of the truths she desperately seeks.

This series is by far one of the most beautiful series I’ve read this year, and I’ve been reading a lot of series. But the fact that the plot holds up to the artwork really makes it shine. I’ve been enjoying following Nina’s story, and hope others do as well.


Blackbird Book 1 Cover by Jen Bartel (image Comics)
Blackbird Book 1 Cover by Jen Bartel (image Comics)

Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is surprisingly complex, despite it’s pretty exterior. The story doesn’t waste any time getting into the thick of things; we’re immediately introduced to Nina’s world and her plights. From there it’s a whirlwind of a read.

Sam Humphries has created a world of complex magical rules, systems, and policies. This hidden world is fascinating, and Humphries makes it even more so by merely hinting at the rules of its society.

And then, of course, there’s the emotional twists and turns this graphic novel takes. Nina’s journey for the truth is compelling, fascinating, and yes at times even heartbreaking. Some of the revelations make sense, while others are utterly shocking. Almost all of them elicit some form of reaction or emotion, and that’s where the series really shines.

Blackbird quickly became one of my favorite series over the course of the last few months. So much so that I jumped at the opportunity to reread all the issues again in volume format. And yes, it really was just as good the second time around.


I mentioned this above already, but Blackbird is honestly one of the most striking series out there right now. Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is full of vibrant covers, dramatic fight scenes, and striking magical illustrations.

Jen Bartel is the artist for this series, and she is without a doubt the person that brings this plot to life. Her linework is amazing, solid and grounded in reality when needed, but when let loose to the magical side of things…it becomes something more.

It’s the color palette brings the art to a whole new level. The colorist for the series alternates from time to time, with Triona Farrell, Jen Bartel, and Nayoung Wilson all taking turns. It’s hard to tell when they switch out, however, as they all work with the same color palette – thankfully.


Blackbird Book 1: The Great Beast is a brilliant read, whether it’s your first time reading the series, or your second (or more). The plot is gripping and emotionally compelling, while the artwork is spectacular and captivating.

I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this series, but honestly, the team behind Blackbird have clearly put a lot of effort into making this an outstanding series. I loved the logic and rules behind their magic system, the complexity of Nina’s family situation, and everything else there was to this series.



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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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