Blackwood #1 Review

Posted May 29, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Evan Dorkin

Art By: Veronica Fish

Published By: Dark Horse

When I was in my early 20’s I figured I was too old for young adult stuff that wasn’t Harry Potter. That’s a bit silly to be sure, because there are great YA novels, but on the whole, the themes and problems had stopped jiving with me. I was a big boy! Well, I’m thinking I’m now a bigger boy, because Blackwood is a step above YA and has the same problems. It’s New Adult. The characters aren’t in highschool but entering college, and with that comes the smugness of being almost in the early 20’s and thinking you’re too good for YA stuff save Harry Potter.

This is to say that I’m too old for this.

In all honesty, Blackwood is just kind of tiresome. It’s kids going to a haunted college out in the middle of nowhere and being kids about it, or new adults I guess. They don’t know the college is haunted but they feel something off and share a nightmare or two. It’s nothing particularly interesting, and the execution gets muddied at points. I can’t tell if we’re having a fun urban fantasy romp or if this is a horror story. The opening pages make me think the latter, but the actual students the former.

We’re introduced to a nice-sized cast of characters, though the main one is Wren. You can tell because she has the most interesting design. I don’t like her. She’s an asshole, that kind with a troubled past that probably has superpowers for all I know. What’s strange is that she doesn’t want to be in Blackwood (she’s too cool for school!), and with college, if you don’t want to go…don’t go. The book tries to set up some plot threads on the school itself and why this group of people are here, but I’m not satisfied with the answers, at least not yet. The other students have good reasons to be here, but Wren doesn’t.

As to the artwork, it’s fine. I got no problems with it, but I don’t have much to say either. It’s a little bland, but it fits whats’ going on, which is also a little bland.

Now this all being said, Blackwood itself is fairly competent. Wren sucks but we’ll come around to her around issue three when she vomits her backstory and saves a dude, and the rest will turn into likeable chaps that follow their respective tropes too closely to be memorable. It’s got “mediocre” stamped all over it, which isn’t a bad thing if you want a haunted university. It’s not like we get too many of them. That being said, DC has Mystic U out right now, and you might find a better version of this there. I dunno. I stopped reading that too.


About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.