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.
From the creators that brought you Spider-Gwen, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, and DRIFTER, and the incredible colorist of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, comes a place where dreams come true–and today, they go to war.
Prepare to read this one at least two times, with Black Cloud #1 there is a lot to take in. Jumping from current day into dream worlds, with black noir settings and creatures never seen before. Zelda has the power to bring others with her into her reality, one that she seemingly left behind or escaped. While not a lot was given away in this first issue, we are left with subtle hints here and there with no real answers quite yet.
Latour and Brandon weave a story about storytelling here, injecting some social commentary along the way. While introducing the main character yet unnamed (Zelda if you read the solicits), she speaks of the world she comes from with grandeur. However is quick to reveal the ugly sides of ours, with comments about our engrossment in things like viral content, fantasy sports, and broadcast reality. As we often miss out on other stories, brushing them to the side as no one listens. Too busy caught up in things that just don’t matter.
The story here focuses on Zelda’s survival in our world and how she can maintain that. She can be found sleeping on a bench, begging for change, or pedaling designer drugs to rich kids. Yet those drugs are really just her abilities to bring others into her world. Where she is all-powerful, seemingly the storyteller of this dream world. We have to wonder why she left in the first place, as no one ever seemingly wants to leave her world. Ironically returning to her world is not so easy, coming at a cost.
Color work and color theory are why this book will sell and there is a strong case for that here. Hinkle has some beautiful art throughout this issue, with perfect pacing to move the story along. However, Wilson and Cunniffe bring this book to life. Their color on the dream sequences alone is astounding, telling parts of the story that words could never do justice. Even if the story isn’t for you, the art here is worth the price of admission, hands down.
Like I said in the beginning, you’re going to read this book at least two times. There are so many things to unpack here and that’s honestly a good thing. It can feel like getting lost in the rabbit hole and some of the social commentaries can feel righteous at times as well. At the end of the day, most will pick this up for the art and I can’t say I blame them, but the story has a lot to give as well.
Reviewed by Tim Montoya
Black Cloud #1
Written by Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon
Art by Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson, Dee Cunniffe, Aditya Bidkar
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: April 5h, 2017