Action Comics Weekly #614 (Black Canary)
“Bitter Fruit, Part 6”
Writer – Sharon Wright
Pencils – Randy DuBurke
Inks – Pablo Marcos
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Gold
Before hopping into this sure-to-thrill chapter of Black Canary, I want to mention that in the book, this chapter is labelled as Bitter Fruit, Part 4… it’s actually Part 6… and it feels like Part 15.
Guess I can’t be too hard on the Editor for missing this, as from the looks of it, this entire story is somehow making it past his desk unchecked!
We open with William MacDonald (of the I.N.S.) making a call to someone named “Fyres”… so, we’re only two panels in and already we see yet another “new name” entering the story. Fyres is a thin man in a loud (and pointy-shouldered) sports jacket. He is advised that his “subject” is Ellen Waverly. Now, that’s not a new name for us (though it was last week). She’s the woman working on the Librado file. Speaking of Ms. Waverly, we shift scenes to her receiving a call from Weird Beard. He claims to have a package for her, and agrees to meet with her at her home to make the exchange.
After a brief update on Hector Librado, we join Dinah who is beating up those goons at Beecham’s Market. Ya know, I try and write these synopses in a way where you don’t need to go back and read other posts for context (though, they’re there if you want)… however, this feature kinda refuses to be synopsized that way! So yeah, Dinah is fighting off the pair of goons who are hassling Mr. Beecham, and they’re the same two goons that hassled her at the bar (like four weeks ago). She accuses them of “coldcocking” her and “The Cowboy”, which they both deny.
Hank Beecham then returns to the scene with his shotgun. He fires it, causing the goons to scatter.
Dinah and Hank talk a bit about the matter at hand. She learns that Librado wasn’t in any sort of debt, as he paid for all of the services in cash. Further, he explains that the two goons work for a guy wearing… an old cowboy hat and flight jacket! Uh-oh.
We shift scenes to the Scales Building, where (I assume) Vincent Scales is on the line with William MacDonald, who is on his way to Seattle. Not sure why that Fyre guy is part of this… or, honestly, if he even is! Anyhoo, Cowboy Doug enters Scales’ office and is handed a note, and orders to check out a boat. Scales refers to Cowboy Doug as “Gary”, which clears up one of the skatey-eight hundred names we’ve had dropped on us over the past several weeks.
We next jump to California where Hollywood Doug is peeking into some fenced off land. Worth noting, there’s a scale on the signage… and while Scales owns it, the government still sorta “works” it. He realizes he’s gotta check more into this.
We wrap up back at Sherwood Florist, where Dinah makes a call to Doug Vallines (not sure which one), she leaves a message on his machine, informing him that she thinks she knows who attacked Hector Librado.
This is still going on, innit?
I’m sitting here wishing there were a Who’s Who? edition focused on Bitter Fruit. Heck, Bitter Fruit the story, or actual lemons, limes and the like. I’ve pleaded a bunch over the past few weeks… please quit dropping new characters in… and please start sorting out the ones we’ve already got!
It’s okay for Dinah to not have all the answers… it’s okay to leave some things nebulous… but, for the readers to be quite this lost? That does not make for a fun, satisfying, or rewarding experience. Next week is (thankfully) our penultimate chapter, and we still have so many questions. Who attacked Hector Librado? Who is this Fyre guy? Why is this Fyre guy involved if MacDonald and Weird Beard both have eyes on Ellen Waverly? Who is Doug Vallines… and why are there two?
What I’m saying is… we’ve only got sixteen pages left, and I’m bracing for about a dozen and a half anvils to drop on our heads. This is not a well-paced story… and, worse yet, it’s not interesting in the slightest! A total “miss”.
Tomorrow: We usher Catwoman and Phantom Stranger out of the rotation… and prepare for some ACW originals to return!