Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Black Canary #11 Review and **SPOILERS**

Black Canary Über Alles

Written By: Brenden Fletcher
Art By: Sandy Jarrell, Wayne Faucher, Lee Loughridge
Letters By: Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 27, 2016

**Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom**

I could swear I just reviewed this comic book…what gives? Looks like they’ve double-shipped Black Canary for the month of April, probably to make ample room for Geoff Johns’ Rebirth comic coming out May whatever-the-hell-it-is. Twenty-fifth? Somewhere around there. So my guess is we’ll get an twelfth issue in a couple of weeks that will act as Dinah’s swan song, and maybe set her up for whatever she’s got going on after June. Works for me, this last arc has been strange, to say the least, and I don’t mind wrapping it up double-time. That doesn’t mean there can’t be some surprises left, but can anyone confirm it? Perhaps by way of a review or recap that might tell us whether or not there were big reveals or twists in this issue of Black Canary? Does such a thing exist? Why yes, indeed, it does, and you can see for yourself if you read on!

Explain It!:

After hanging around Burnside coffee shops for a few issues, Dinah decides it is time to save the members of her band Black Canary, held captive by a German ninja cult in suburban Berlin. We open with a wide shot of Dinah looking bad-ass atop a motorcycle, peering at club Unverhofft Kommt Oft (Expect the Unexpected) through night-vision binoculars because did I mention she is totally bad-ass? She’s Skyping with Frankie and Babs through an earpiece, and they’re providing information she doesn’t really need. I guess this sort of ties things into the recent issue of Batgirl, which shows Dinah working with Frankie, aka “Operator,” for the first time. Okay, that’s cool. You’re writing both titles, Fletcher, so that’s your prerogative. After dispensing with a couple dozen German ninjas, D.D. enters the club and strides up to the stage to find her band, Black Canary, playing backup for Izak Orato!

Okay, I did a really bad job explaining this guy last issue, like I didn’t even mention the name. I was truly so confused by that long conversation between Dinah and Batgirl, even after three reads, that I just glossed over it and skipped ahead to the action. So sue me, I have a short attention span and my reading ain’t too good. So Izak Orato is like an age-old creepster musician, and Dinah’s mom was one of his back-up dancers? Or something like this, and basically everyone that ever worked with him died and plus he has lived way longer than expected, just been a kind of creepy old coot for ages. So basically, he’s Mick Jagger. He’s hypnotized the band by singing this weirdo German song that he demonstrates for Dinah and subsequently hypnotizes her. Dinah sleepwalks up to the stage and appears about to perform, when she sees Ditto in the crowd! This makes her and the rest of the band wake up, and then I guess they are fighting German ninjas, but for all the impact they have on the rest of the story they might as well have gone back to their trailers to check Facebook and eat Drakes apple pies.

Dinah and Orato literally fall through a trap door and down a slide, into a hall of mirrors, like this is some wacked-out episode of the Prisoner or something. Izak shows her all kinds of visions of her past to mess her up, then explains that all he wants is to be cured of his need to eat people in order to stay eternally Iggy Pop-esque. He needs the Five Heavens Palm, a medicinal ninja move known by Dinah’s mom but unknown to Dinah, and barely known to the reader since I think they only mention it for the first time last issue. Taunted to her breaking point, Dinah lets out the Canary Cry, which shatters the surrounding mirrors and reveals Izak Orato to her as a monster, complete with a toothy mouth where his chest is supposed to be. Somehow, Dinah winds up outside the ninja compound where she was held alongside Vixen against their wills, and Vixen is there too, kicking major German ninja ass! Dinah is confused, as she should be, when her aunt comes strolling up in an all-white nuns habit and sticks a samurai sword in her gut! Dinah’s aunt then removes her mask to reveal she is Izak Orato, and presumably has been all along? I think? To be concluded!

Black Canary just went balls to the wall weird, and it really enhanced my enjoyment of the book. I’m not even sure how we got to this point, but Dinah beating up an ethereal monster with a chest-mouth is exactly the type of comic book shenanigans I want to see. I’m not in love with Sandy Jarrell’s art, but I felt it worked okay for a book like this. The first half of the book, unfortunately, was pretty much a bore and had a lot of superfluous shit that didn’t factor into the rest of the issue at all. The second half was pretty crazy cool, and for three bucks that’s not the worse deal you’re going to get all week. Not while Burger King is running its two-for-five corornary special or whatever.

Bits and Pieces

A clunky first half of the book gives way to some ooky spooky action in the second half, that might be worth the initial ride to a lot of people. The artwork looks a bit rough, but does the job okay in a punk rock book like Black Canary. Though if Black Canary was really punk rock, it wouldn't be published by a subsidiary of Warner Bros. It would be a Xeroxed mini zine, sold in boutique shops and via mail-order. And most of it would just be collages of people's faces clipped from the newspaper with an Anarchy symbol drawn over it in magic marker. And then years down the line, you would find yourself barred from employment at the investment firm of your choice because your name popped up as being on a counterculture mailing list during a routine background search.


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