Black Canary #2 tests the band members’ loyalty to each other, reveals some secrets from Dinah’s past and ups the tension in the book.
Previously in Black Canary #1: Dinah’s bandmates get a sense of what they are really going to be up against – and it’s not just haters.
Brenden Fletcher has used Black Canary #2 as a character building piece. Readers gets moments with each of the new band members they have been introduced to – Heathcliff, Lord Byron, Paloma, Ditto – gets a scene or a direct conversation with Dinah that reveals a little bit more about their personalities. For the most part the group is dispirit. The idea of having to be vigilantes as well as rock stars doesn’t sit well with any of them, but Paloma least of all.
Black Canary #2 is also Fletcher’s opportunity to solidify Dinah’s character in this world of the DCYou. Her character has been something of a mess since Team 7 and Fletcher does a good job striking a balance between the myriad of Dinahs readers have known by now. Canonically, this is still Dinah Drake, but she is beginning to feel a lot more like the Dinah Lance most readers – and television fans – are hoping to have come to the page.
To his great credit, Brenden Fletcher writes realistic female voices and even when characters like Lord Byron and Paloma aren’t will to put their full trust in Dinah it does not come across as contrarian simply for the sake of it. The titular band of Black Canary #2 have diverse personalities that match their appearances on the page.
Much of Dinah’s history in on display in Black Canary #2 – notably her fighting and marksmanship abilities which begs the question from other characters of where exactly these skills were acquired and what kind of life DD led before she showed up at Babs’ apartment in Burnside? Additionally, Dinah’s marital history is briefly brought out into the open, although sadly, any romantic connection to Oliver Queen remains unconfirmed in the current continuity.
Black Canary #2 is more oblique than it’s comic candy premiere issue and deals with subject matter reaching to deeper depths than many of Dinah’s recent on-panel appearance, but it’s good. The Batgirl series that Fletcher is also working on is bright and fun and if his Black Canary is shaping up to be electric and challenging then they would make excellent companion series to read month in and month out.
This is a great issue. The dialogue is sharp and precise to the character speaking, there are reveals all around, though with an obvious concentration on Dinah herself. The mystery of Ditto deepens and because it’s Black Canary #2 there is absolutely the room for a badass girl fight.
Black Canary #2 is on fire. Annie Wu injects such dynamic energy into each page that even if the panel is populated solely by Heathcliff moaning about the pain of combat training it feels ready to hop off the page and into the reader’s reality.
The bleak desert that the events of Black Canary #2 is set against adds to the raw and angry nature of the dialogue. It enhances the sense that at this place, in this time with these stakes everyone is raw nerve and a fight is bound to break out. Lee Loughridge’s colours on top of Wu’s art are flat in a style that recalls Matt Hollingsworth’s work on Hawkeye – the perfect finishing cement on the story’s reality.
Wu’s characters are beautiful in the sharp angels and precise lines she shapes their faces and bodies with. Her jagged art style speaks to the rock n roll nature of Black Canary #2 and it also makes for electric fight scenes with body parts and poses that slash across panels, sometimes large sections of the page, as often as through enemies and lends a real sense of the danger wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma that will propel the series going forward.
BOTTOM LINE: COOL CHARACTER STUDY
Black Canary #2 is a more violent, more danger, yet also more thoughtful issue than its predecessor. There is a lot of set up in this issue that will pay off in the story to come, although that makes for a no less interesting narrative. Fans of the series and of the new things the DC You is up to are sure to enjoy this book.