Blackbird #4

Written by: Sam Humphries
Art by: Jen Bartel
Colors by: Triona Farrell
Letters by: Jodi Wynne

What would you do if your parent passed away when you were a kid and then found out that actually they had been alive this whole time, they were just being a magical being in an alternate universe? And now imagine that at the same time you discovered that, you also found out that parents do in fact have a favourite child, and you are not it.  That is the premise of Blackbird #4, and it’s very difficult not feel absolutely devastated for its central character Nina.

In issue #4 Nina is reunited with her mother. But it is not the warm reunion you would hope from a mother and a daughter who have not seen each other for over a decade. Nina’s mother is more concerned with the politics of different paragon groups in L.A. than her daughter’s discovery of her existence.

Nina is quite obviously devastated by this discovery. Knowing now that not only was she not crazy for thinking magic existed, but her own mother hid this truth from her all this time. It kicks Nina into gear to get answers. No longer is she happy to just sit back and wait for someone to explain things to her, she is off to find out what happened to her sister.

In the first issue of Blackbird, Nina was a woman who is so broken by her past, and so lost in her obsessions that she hides away in drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy. By issue 4 she has grabbed life by the horns and is taking responsibility for her life. She is tired of being the victim of what happened to her and is deciding to demand the things she needs. And she is recognising the strength within her that has kept her afloat all of this time. I take my hat off to Sam Humphries who has managed to write this remarkable transformation in the space of only 4 issues, whilst also setting up a whole new universe and a whole new narrative.

I would say Blackbird is the comic to look out for this year, it will definitely be that title everyone will be recommending to you by the time the first trade comes out!


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