Black Cloud #1
Story by Jason Latour, and Ivan Brandon
Art by Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson, and Dee Cunniffe
Published by Image comics
Release Date: April 5, 2017
Black Cloud is a book that forces its reader to trust it. Writers Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon do a fantastic job of creating a mysterious world that, although undoubtedly interesting, can also make a reader feel lost. We are handed a protagonist that we get to know very little about. Not knowing her name until almost the very end, and really never learning much about her powers that are used throughout the book. But it’s also this mystery that gives this book its edge, and makes it a compelling read.
Latour and Brandon do not hold the readers hand in this first issue. At first it can be off putting, but it makes perfect sense when dealing with a struggling, and homeless character like Mrs. Barrett. She doesn’t have someone to aid her when she can’t even afford a one dollar hot dog, forcing her to use her powers for money. For some readers the fast pace with minimal explanation may be hard to deal with. However, it’s that pacing and withholding of information, that also helps build the mystery of Mrs. Barrett and her dream world.
Greg Hinkle is the glue that holds this first issue together. His cartoon-like approach is a perfect pairing for the loose narrative in this first issue. He shows off his skills by portraying anything from humanoid loins, to gnarly looking lizard men. Hinkle is also able to show off his ability to nail an array of facial expressions throughout the book, which can also help nail the tone of a loose narrative.
Hinkle may have been the glue, but Matt Wilson with the help of Dee Cunniffe on colors is what puts this first issue truly over the top. Although the story opens with minimal colors, it quickly opens up to a vibrant pallet that pairs perfectly with Hinkle’s cartoon style. The most impressive part about the colors in this book is when Wilson and Cunniffe take us into the dream world with a gray scale palette. In that dream world, amongst all the different shades of grey, they vibrantly color different characters and objects to help us focus our attention on them, and help pull along the narrative.
I, by no means, found Latour and Brandon’s technique to show us this new world off-putting, since instead it makes the reader focus on the artwork and colors to help guide them in this world they have all created. I find this to be why I will be coming back for more in the future.
I would recommend this book to:
fans of stories that involve time travel, different dimensions, sci-fi, and magical shit.