Written and drawn by Charlie ‘Fab’ Goubile, this is a collection of a 3-issue miniseries, which is part Coming Of Age tale, part Urban Thriller, part Superhero story, and ALL GOOD.
Antwon Jenkins is a preteen boy who was raised by his aunt in “Grim City”, sort of a stand-in for the means streets of Chicago. When his aunt is killed in the crossfire of a senseless shooting, he is taken in by Mr. Long, a local Chinese restaurant owner whom he used to do odd jobs for. Mr. Long and his two nephews then train Antwon in the martial arts, giving him something to concentrate on, other than his grief. By the time Antwon is a teenager, he has become a martial arts expert. One night, while out practicing, he happens to come across a crime in progress, two thugs attacking a woman in a dark alley. Antwon leaps into the fray and uses his skills to save the woman. This inspires him to be a hero, and help others. He goes home and designs himself a costume based on a sick baby raven (a little black bird) that he once found and nursed back to help.
Next we see Antwon @ school, hanging out with his friends Shante (a cute girl who has a crush on him) and Manuel, whose a bit of a goof off. Later that day, Manuel gets shot in a drive-by, by some gangsters who were harassing him earlier (Antwon showed up and fought them off). He survives, but is stuck in the hospital for awhile. That’s the night Antwon makes his decision. Donning a the costume he designed himself, he takes to the streets @ night as BLACKBIRD! As Blackbird he heads to straight to the HQ of the gang that shot Manuel, and sends a message to the leader, telling him to let all his boys know that Blackbird is watching these streets now.
Man, I loved this book. It’s a great premise, executed flawlessly. The only complaint I’d have is that it’s not an ongoing series. I’m eager to see more stories of Blackbird’s future adventures, so if more of y’all buy it, then Goubile will have the incentive to write and draw more issues. I’ve got it in three single issues, but it’s also available in a collected edition., which includes some extra artwork by Ashley A. Woods, John Jennings, and Mshindo Kuumba. I highly recommend it.
TWO THUMBS UP!