After the traumatic events of the last two issues, Dinah and the band are back on the road in BLACK CANARY #5. Alas things aren’t getting any easier for them as the mysterious forces after Ditto continue to lurk, and ex-singer Bo Maeve continues to wait in the wings for her chance at regaining the spotlight.

BLACK CANARY #5 by Brenden Fletcher and Pia Guerrera

BLACK CANARY #5 begins with the band finishing up a concert, and Dinah expressing to the audience the love and admiration she’s come to feel towards her band-mates. Later that night the band camps out, as they’ve run out of hotel money from their label. As they talk, Dinah begins to piece together that everything that’s happened from the band’s formation, to the addition of Ditto, to Dinah’s replacement of Maeve could be be traced back to the band’s record label. Later that night, the mysterious female white-dressed ninja seen last issue attacks while they sleep and is able to escape with a vile of Dina’s blood. The band doesn’t have much time to dwell on the attack, as they have a big record store signing in the band’s hometown the next morning.

BC 5 panels campingThe band is inundated with fans at their signing, including visits from Byron’s family, though notably absent are any relatives of Paloma. The fun atmosphere is short-lived however, as the signing is crashed by members of numerous bands who lost out on valuable touring opportunities because of the chaos Black Canary have left in their wake. The disgruntled musicians challenge BC to a battle of the bands, which road manager Heathcliff is reluctantly forced to accept since they owe the promoter. The band is later shocked to learn that Bo Maeve’s new band is also playing the battle of the bands, and they decide to watch her set from the crowd. The issue ends on a cliffhanger, with Maeve unleashing the abilities she gained at the end of the last issue on Dinah.

Following the spectacular fourth issue, BLACK CANARY #5 falters a bit in its plotting. While the mixture of super heroics and band-life is a theme of the series, the issue uncomfortably jumps between the two. After the events of the last issue, it seems strange to see the band on the road again. Later on, it’s even stranger to see the band, especially Dinah, go to a record store signing the day a ninja steals some of Dinah’s blood. The issue brings up the weirdness of the situation, with Dinah’s ex-husband Kurt commenting on it, but that acknowledgement doesn’t make it read any less awkward. In the grand scheme sense, the issue gives no further answers to the major mysteries of Ditto or the White Ninja, though the implication of the record company somehow having a hand in everything is an interesting one to me.

canary 5 dinah love

While the overall plot of the issue is a bit lacking, it’s a bit stronger in the characterization department. While the abrupt changes in tone are strange, it is nice to see Dinah truly enjoying her time in the band and a bit of the rock star lifestyle, as opposed to simply seeing it as an opportunity to solve her financial problems. Band members Lord Byron and Paloma also get some nice character moments this issue, namely the former spending time with her family, and the latter not seeing hers.

READ: Catch up with our BLACK CANARY #4 review here!

Pia Guerra once again handles art chores this issue, however not quite as successfully as issue four.There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Guerra’s art, in fact it’s quite good. However, Annie Wu’s pencils are a very specific part of the BLACK CANARY aesthetic and the book misses them, especially during the musical scenes.

canary 5 group hug

BLACK CANARY #5 is a step down from the fourth issue, and is the weakest of the series so far. That doesn’t make it bad mind you, simply not up to the standards of the previous three issues. If you have any thoughts on BLACK CANARY #5 or this review, feel free to let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Comicsverse.

READ: More ComicsVerse REVIEWS!

Find more from BRIAN here!

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!