Written by Sam Humphires (Harley Quinn, Dial H for Hero) with stunning art Jen Bartel, BLACKBIRD is what I would call a modern day fairy tale. A girl who believes in a world that no one else can see, spends her whole life to find it, yet when she does it impacts her in a way she wasn’t expecting. In a short summary for the comic it is also described as a “neo-noir”. Noir being a popular form of detective fiction, and I can only assume the “neo” part being in reference to the face that the comic is bright and colorful.
All of this things are true. Yet how does the tale start? Well, in this case, it starts with an earthquake.
As the comic opens it reveals that it takes place in California specifically. As a local there is always a worry about “The Big One”, a massive earthquake that will destroy/level the state. Here we see it given form, causing the young girl to flee with her sister to safety.
On the run, they pass under an overpass that begins to collapse sending a car barreling over the edge. It seems to make a beeline for the girls, who can only stand there in fright until…
Unfortunately the sister is unable to enjoy this memory as it is soon wiped from her mind (as well as from the minds of various other witnesses) by ethereal looking specters. But our protagonist remembers. She obsesses over finding them again, believing it to be her destiny to join their ranks. Along the way her life spirals out of control due to circumstances beyond her control until we meet her again 10 years later.
How has she cooped with various tragedies as well as her search for what she feels is the truth?
We continue to see how she tormented by what she knows to be real, yet everyone assumes she is crazy. We see her fight with her sister, refuse to complete the last step to going to a good college, as well as her bemoaning her fate working as a bartender for sleazebags.
Yet. In the moment when she is at her lowest?
Everything she had been searching appears before her once again. Though most certainly not in the way she imagined, nor the consequences of what that might have brought on her and her sister…
BLACKBIRD is a delightful start to a series all about the hidden world as well as magical beings of supreme power. Both are fantasy types I’ve loved even as a kid so this is definitely up my alley. It is unknown how long the series will go at this time, but I will definitely be keeping my eye open for more in the future.