Blackbird, Vol 1. by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel – Graphic Novel Review

Goodreads: Blackbird (Issues #1-6)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Nina Rodriguez knows a hidden magical world run by ruthless cabals is hiding in Los Angeles. When a giant magic beast kidnaps her sister, Nina must confront her past (and her demons) to get her sister back and reclaim her life. Don’t miss the first collection of the smash-hit neo-noir fantasy series!

I’m very on the fence about this one! If I could rate this graphic novel based on the color palette and artwork alone it would’ve been a solid 5 stars. This is the type of artwork that I’m an absolute sucker for. Everyone and everything is simply gorgeous–the setting, the character expressions and personalities physically expressed. Jen Bartel’s work is seriously impressive.

That said, the storyline and characters didn’t work for me. I didn’t enjoy a single one of the characters and I was especially frustrated with Nina. I understand she went through a terrible thing in her childhood from the night of the earthquake to losing her mum at such a young age, and that those events basically spiralled until young adulthood to where she is now. But her character was incredibly annoying and weak. Trying to follow her thoughts and mood was like trying to catch a swing that’s going in the opposite direction as me all the time. The flow felt a little stilted and didn’t really connect. And her moods! Oh my goodness. For example, MINOR spoiler: one minute she’s hating on Clint hardcore and then the next minute, they’re holding hands and almost kissing? I’m sorry but what and why? I think Clint’s character might have been the only one who was half-decent, but we also don’t really know that much about him yet. Other than that he has great fashion sense lol

The story was also very reminiscent of The Wicked + The Divine. While I thought the powers of the paragons and the use of gems was a unique aspect of the story, I continued to feel confused throughout this whole volume. We didn’t really get any answers about anything, and I know that this is only the first six issues, so hopefully in the coming issues things will become more clear. 

That said, as much as I enjoyed the artwork, I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with this graphic novel. I’ll just continue to enjoy the artwork 🙂

Have you read Blackbird? Love it? Hate it? Meh about it?
Let me know in the comments and let’s have a little chat!

5 thoughts on “Blackbird, Vol 1. by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel – Graphic Novel Review

    • What kind of graphic novel genres have you read? My favorite has been Saga (it’s sci-fi/fantasy) but so totally amazing! That was the series that got me going on graphic novels 😍


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