Written By: Jason Latour, Ican Brandon
Art By: Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson
Letters By: Aditya Bidikar
Black Cloud is a new indie series from Image Comics written by the same team responsible for Spider-Gwen (Marvel) and Southern Bastards (image). If I were to try to describe what it is about just by going off what I had read I would undoubtedly fail at doing so, instead I will just quote the synopsis given for the book instead.
“Zelda was born in a world of dreams, and hers burned bigger than anyone had ever seen.
Now she’s on the run in our world, the dreams broken in her hands.
But the pieces are for sale, the rich and the powerful are buying, and suddenly her world isn’t the only place Zelda’s running from.”
In theory this sounds like an interesting story, however the execution is sorely lacking the book doesn’t do much to explain what is going on to the reader other than the vague bare essentials we Know the main character is running from something in this alternate world, but we don’t know why, we know she is strapped for cash and taking jobs for spoiled rich people, but we don’t know why. Not that there is anything wrong withholding information to create suspense or mystery for a story, but the book doesn’t even manage to do that properly. There is no feeling of suspense or tension throughout the entire book, not even when the lead character is confronted by a group of dream world inhabitants that are less than happy to see here. The book also feels like it bounces around a lot which is always annoying in a story weather it is a film or a comic. Overall the first issue sadly seems to fall pretty flat for a concept with such potential.
On the art side of things however Greg Hinkle and Matt Wilson do a solid job of bringing the story to life with nice color or sometimes lack of color palate and decent character designs for the cast of both the real and dream worlds.
Overall Black Cloud is a good story in theory but in execution it feels rushed and incomplete. There is potential for this series to do great things in the future, but it will have to learn to take its time and flesh out its characters and world more if it wants to contend with other popular image titles like Saga or The Wicked + The Divine anytime soon.
Overall: 4 out of 10.