Title: Blackbird #4
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist/Cover: Jen Bartel
Publication Date: January 9, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: Between pulling back the veil on the magic underground and learning shocking secrets from the past, Nina can’t even right now. Also, she’s terrible at flirting, and that’s getting in the way of making out with Clint.
When Nina began her journey to find magic she never envisioned where that road would take her. Now she’s faced with her greatest dream and nightmare, and utterly at a loss for what to do next. Her only options are turn back and ignore everything she’s believes to be true or move forward into the unknown.
Wow, Sam Humphries turns the tables in this issue, literally ripping the rug out from under readers in Blackbird #4. Ignore any ideas you had before, because Humphries has shown readers a whole new path. Up until this point, Blackbird has been a bit of a melodrama about Nina’s search for her family…and her sanity. Now, Humphries writes a kickass fantasy comic, filled with conspiracy, turf wars, parental drama, and, yes, magic. Humphries instills new excitement in readers at the precise moment Nina finds her path, a throughly kickass ending.
Jen Bartel’s art really amps up the excitement this issue. Between the panels involving magic and the mundane world, Bartel’s world for Blackbird is stunning. By now it’s easy to tell why Nina is obsessed with magic and the paragons; Bartel illustrates the magical world as an intensely descriptive, full of gorgeous intricate designs that are absent from the magic-less realm.
The Bottom Line:
Blackbird #4 releases the brakes on Sam Humphries slow burn, accelerating the story exponentially. With the veil finally lifted, Humphries’ series is free to venture anywhere; I’m looking forward to wherever the story leads.