Comic Review: Black Canary Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming

In Comic Books, DC Comics by Regan Lorie1 Comment

Dinah Lance, the badass blonde vigilante otherwise known as Black Canary, is back in yet another DC reboot, this time as a…rock star?

Yeah, that’s right, and you can catch the first seven installments of her new rock ‘n roll adventures in Black Canary Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming, on comic store shelves now. Going undercover as the vocalist in a major-label band she has named for her powerful alter ego, Dinah—or “D.D.,” as she’s known onstage—is on a mission to protect the band’s otherworldly, mysteriously gifted guitarist Ditto, who also happens to be the source of Dinah’s metagenically-instilled superpowers (including the Canary Cry, her signature ultrasonic scream capable of shattering objects and incapacitating adversaries). As the band embarks on a lengthy tour, they are forced to back D.D. up in combat as well as onstage as she forges unlikely alliances and faces off against a constant barrage of enemies and rival bands, all attempting to make off with Ditto in order to copycat the sound and subsequent success of Black Canary (or for other yet-undisclosed reasons).

Okay, so forget the notion that touring with a high-profile band is a terrible game plan for one attempting to go incognito. Writer Brenden Fletcher finds not only explanations, but ways to use the inner workings of a band on tour to the story’s advantage. It doesn’t matter anyway; you seriously will be having too much fun along the way to get bogged down in the details. What Fletcher and artist Annie Wu have produced here is a fast-paced, vibrant, action-packed end result with secondary characters that still successfully come across as three-dimensional despite limited face time. Wu’s splashy hot pinks and bright neon yellows call Jem & The Holograms to mind, but don’t be fooled: Black Canary—the woman AND the band—would send Jem, the Holograms, the Misfits, and even poor Rio limping for cover.

To coincide with the trade’s release, DC Entertainment has released a three-track Black Canary EP, performed by Fletcher, singer-guitarist Michelle Bensimon, of Montreal band Caveboy; and producer Joseph Donovan. The trio wrote two original tracks for the EP, which includes a solid cover of Bauhaus’ “The Man With The X-Ray Eyes.” It’s not uncommon for comics and independent music to cross paths—see Urinal Cake Records’ 7” tie-in releases to Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely’s incredible series The Humans—and DC has gone the extra mile to make the “band” look legit by creating a band bio page on its site (complete with tour dates hitting all their markets in the DC Universe)BlackCanarydirecting all music streaming and digital purchases to Bandcamp (https://blackcanary.bandcamp.com). With a minimum Name Your Price donation of $3.50, this chorus-heavy goth-electro companion piece is more than worth your time and bucks, and I highly recommend you play it loudly as you read along. Were it not for the violent testimonials of their battered and bruised supporting acts (and, well, the fact that it’s technically a fictitious band), my band would be trying its damndest to book a show with Black Canary.

Overall, two big thumbs up for the new, improved Black Canary experience. No way will you be disappointed.

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