Nina Rodriguez has devoted her life to her conviction that Paragons exist. Now her sister has been taken, she has found Paragons, and no one believes her – what can she do next?

Blackbird #2 ReviewBLACKBIRD #2

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Jen Bartel
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 7, 2018

Previously in Blackbird: Nina Rodriguez had an experience in childhood where, fleeing with her sister from one danger to another, she saw a beautiful monster who saved several people – but she is the only one who remembered it. After than point, her life fell apart. She drinks. She pops pills. She isn’t responsible with school or her job. She believes there is a secret cabal of magic users called Paragons. And then one night after work, she finds a Paragon cirque and a gem – and sees a Paragon. Almost immediately afterward, she gets into an argument with her sister Marisa and the beautiful monster returns and takes Marisa away

A DIFFICULT CHILDHOOD AND A MAGICAL WORLD

Blackbird #2 starts out with the monster we saw last time saying Marisa’s name, and her realizing this. Then we cut to Nina trying to tell her father about what happened to Marisa. Remember that Nina is the family screw up who’s been obsessed about Paragons since childhood. This does not go well, and Nina is on her own, well, except for her cat, Sharpie, who vanished ten years before but has now returned. He talks to her now, although he doesn’t make any sense. We then get another lengthy flashback to her childhood – where life is good until her father shows up and there are fights. I suspect this thread may be important for later on, but it seems to take up a lot of space right now.

Nina finally remembers that she saw a Paragon at her bar right before the creature appeared and took Marisa. She looks through security footage to try to find him, but finds nothing more than that he always pays in cash. Then the guy who’s cleaning up tells her he knows him, or at least that his name is Clint and he wears fancy shoes – they’re imported and limited edition. Nina goes to the shoe store where they know nothing, or appear to, but Nina sees that he is lying. The LAPD comes in to raid the store, and Nina sneaks in back and finds a box of shoes to be delivered to Clint, complete with address.

The address is a clinic. Nina tries to make an appointment to see Clint, and fails, although she notices that the receptionist is wearing a cirque. A muscular guy throws her out. She breaks in the back door, and falls through something where she relives a bit of her past, and finds herself in a fancy room full of young people very stylishly dressed and also wearing cirques. A young woman recognizes the shoe box as a delivery for Clint and gives Nina a couple gems, before the muscular guy from before shows up to kick her out. She gets away from him, but now is no longer with the Paragons.

Nina finally figures out why her cat is making no sense, just about as the mysterious dog who has been following her shows up. The cat attacks; Nina uses one of the gems in her cirque, and captures the dog who turns out to be Clint. She demands to know where her sister is. He doesn’t know, and he claims that he was watching out for her, because someone else is hunting her. As if on cue, another mysterious person, a woman with two daggers, shows up – apparently one of the hunters.

AN IMAGINATIVE AND LOVELY WORLD

There are lovely lines in the art of Blackbird #2. Characters are distinct and expressive, and you can tell who they are in childhood as well as in adulthood. They are also, especially the Paragons, beautiful and stylish. I like that they’re very distinctive, but could also blend into our world as being just super fashionable. The concept of a secret magical community hiding in plain sight is hard to pull off in our modern age. As they’re presented, though, I don’t yet like them much. They look a lot like the clique of popular kids at school, down to surly looks at the newcomer.

I really like the look of the monster who carried Marisa off; it’s genuinely otherworldly. And the hunter who comes after her at the end makes a hugely dramatic entrance. The art is so pretty to look at. Backgrounds are crisp and relevant for the settings.

BOTTOM LINE: A Magical Story

This is a magical story. There’s a lot going on here, and it is sometimes difficult to follow what’s going on. To be fair, trying to find Paragons who are expert at magic and keeping themselves hidden would make the investigation challenging and frustrating, and reading this feels a bit like this. The heroine has family problems, which has to the potential to be interesting if we see her challenged by them. The premise is intriguing.

Blackbird #2

80%
80%
A Magical Story

This is a magical story. There’s a lot going on here, and it is sometimes difficult to follow what’s going on. To be fair, trying to find Paragons who are expert at magic and keeping themselves hidden would make the investigation challenging and frustrating, and reading this feels a bit like this. The heroine has family problems, which has to the potential to be interesting if we see her challenged by them. The premise is intriguing.

  • Writing
    7
  • Art
    9
  • Coloring
    8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0
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About Author

By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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