Writer: Ivan Brandon, Jason Latour / Artist: Greg Hinkle / Image Comics
Before diving in I just want to give kudos on the cover design of these comics. From the first issue’s cover, it grabbed my attention and I still gravitate to this comic in part because I’m hella interested, and in part because of these damn covers. The layout of Black Cloud‘s covers are visually striking, the three sections that make up the cover: the unique “Black Cloud” font at top, the positioning of Zelda somewhere in the middle that usually extends to the later section with some imagery in the middle that hints at some key place where more conflict finds her. On the cover of the first issue she stands confident with weapon, relaxed with a subway in the background. Issue #2 she is on the move, looking nervous and hunted as Huge’s aides — most of them with shadowed eyes, minus one — are placed behind her. This issue she stands decked out in armor (no boob armor!) as she is posed to wreck somebody and their entire world.
Zelda regroups and doesn’t have a clue, nor does she have Todd the son of the very affluent and powerful man she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on. Her other problem is that she can’t find a way back in, and it’s not like she has many friends to call her own. Shit is dire. Even so, she puffs out her chest with some fake bravado and works to get back into the swing of things.
This issue picks up from my less-than-stellar review of the first issue as it strikes home with more world building that is shelved with flashbacks from Zelda’s past, which are as eye opening as they are necessary at this point to give readers something concrete to hold onto. Zelda, not surprisingly, isn’t a saint, nor has she ever been. Why am I even pointing this out? In the not-quite-dream utopia where Zelda and others made their home/vacation home/hideaway, Zelda shakes up the foundation of the status quo and basically becomes a usurper. A traitor. Her hubris and boredom has led her to dismantling and erasing so much and she runs; she takes off.
More fantastic art that flies off the pages, Black Cloud is equal parts beautiful to look at yet writing wise is still a comic that needs some crafting to ground me as a reader. The world building isn’t a negative factor as there are many worlds here, and Zelda seems to be doing okay in not drifting into too many — there’s only so many dreams she can have and stay in so far in this narrative. This new revelation of who Zelda is (she basically turned a world upside down) and the repercussions of her actions that will come to light sooner or later will hook you here in this issue. I surely hope we learn a bigger chunk of the story next issue that builds on this issue’s momentum.
7.9 out Of 10
Reading Black Cloud? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.