Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Canary and Zatanna - Bloodspell

Fishnets Unite! Taking place in a glorious world before DC's New 52 reboot, this graphic novel from writer Paul Dini and artist Joe Quinones unites Black Canary and Zatanna on case involving a dead killer and a blood curse which threatens Dinah's life. Offering us a glimpse at the pair's friendship over the years which began with a snowball fight on a Himalayan mountain, Dini and Quinones provide one of the most satisfying and FUN stories from DC that either heroine has been involved with in years.

The logic of the story itself is a little odd (did Black Canary really need to go undercover to take down this gang?), but the execution and choice to center it around two DC's most intriguing female figures, each of whom has made some questionable wardrobe choices over the years (also on display here), is an enjoyable read ending with a madcap final act involving the ghost jumping bodies pitting the pair against each other. Hopefully this refreshing old school take on the characters will prove successful enough to inspire DC to release other such projects. I certainly hope so.

The hardcover release, which is actually embossed in a fishnet pattern if you remove the dust jacket, also includes a fair amount of bonus material including some great sketches from Quinones and Dini's complete script of the tale. The pairing of Quinones and Dini works as well as that of Dinah and Zatanna as Quinones seems to have just the right touch in bringing forth and enhancing both the humor and action of Dini's script.

The only real negative from the collection (other than the somewhat convoluted curse plot held together wonderfully by Zatanna and Black Canary's interactions over the years) is the fact that after you're finished there's no next issue to look forward to and only some depressingly insufficient New 52 titles currently featuring inferior versions of our heroes. That has more to say with the current state of the New 52 than this book which reminds us what writers and artists who know and like their characters, and are given the freedom in which to work (and an expanded classic DCU history on which to draw from), can deliver. Worth a look.

[DC, $22.99]

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