Black Cloud Issue #1: A Dark New World Book Review

Black Cloud is a new comic from Image written by Jason Latour (Spider-Gwen) and Ivan Brandon (Secret Invasion) with art by Greg Hinkle (Airboy). It features an unnamed female protagonist living as a beggar in NYC, who has the power to take people in the city to an alternate dimension. Throughout the book she narrates from her perspective.

The book does a great job of showcasing its colorful alternate world as well as the New York cityscape, and the character designs, although inconsistent and not always detailed, are diverse and interesting. The story can get confusing at times, especially considering this is only the first issue. It doesn't do a great job of establishing the motives of the characters nor the reasoning behind the events that take place. Readers that enjoy piecing together puzzles may enjoy this, however, only a few pieces are given in this first issue and you will most likely have to continue for many more issues to get the full picture.

Black Cloud is certainly aimed toward older audiences. This is not only apparent from the adult language and themes, but also from the fact that the writers seem to make a deliberate effort to create a very complex story with parts purposely left ambiguous or even completely absent. For instance, the narrator/protagonist's name is not even mentioned once in the issue. Her powers are not fully revealed at the beginning, but rather the reader has to infer them from subtle actions that she performs in the alternate reality. The writers give almost nothing away upfront, and instead rely on the cliffhanger ending to hook readers into figuring out more about the mysterious hero. However, I think that they might have withheld a bit too much information because there is not enough given to empathize with the nameless main character and make you want to find out more in the first place. Regardless, there is plenty of action in this first issue and a lot of potential for a very expansive story in future issues.

Black Cloud #1 seems like a teaser trailer to events that are about to come,and very little is fleshed out. It is probably safe to say that more of the secrets of the alternate world will surface in later issues. I think that Black Cloud could become a very exciting comic in later issues as long as the main character reveals more about herself and her role in everything that is going on.

Adrian Clarke is a manga, anime, and comic book enthusiast and also a fan of gaming. He is interested in creative works from all sorts of writers, animators, and filmmakers.