ACW #633 – Black Canary

Action Comics Weekly #633 (Black Canary)
“knock ’em Dead, Part 10”
Writer – Sharon Wright
Pencils – Randy DuBurke
Inks – Pablo Marcos
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Gene D’Angelo
Editor – Robert Greenberger

Wow, this one’s still going on, innit?  Well, not for long, because if I’m not mistaken, today’s piece covers the penultimate chapter of this Black Canary tale.  Eleven parts for a story is pretty weird, but… I wanna say there was a lot of weirdness going on behind the scenes at Action Comics Weekly around this point in time.

We open with Ken Glazier… having something bad happen to him… I think.  Looks like he’s either just had his brains blown out, or he was slapped in the face.  It’s somewhere on that spectrum.  Meanwhile, Dinah is having her wounds tended to by an EMT.  She claims that Cat’s stab (with a prop-dagger, no less) didn’t sever any tendons, just gave her a big ol’ bone bruise.  The check-up is interrupted, however, by an officer who reports they just found a body bobbin’ in the sound… a body whose description matches that of The Deb.

We hop over to the pier where our worst fears are confirmed… well, they’re bound to be somebody’s worst fears… The Deb is Ded.  The question about how or why anyone would dump her body into such a heavy-trafficked waterway lingers.

This gives Dinah a sneaking suspicion, and so she disappears around a bend.  There, she finds an opening to the sewer system, and decides to have a look around.

She is almost immediately greeted by the word “Whore” being scrawled on a wall… not sure if this was written in paint, lipstick, blood, or ketchup… but, it’s red.

Dinah continues… and comes across a closed door.  Upon entering, she finds quite the scene.  It’s a shrine of sorts… to a little girl.  There are empty boxes of Kentucky Fried Somethin’r’nother strewn around the joint, which makes me figure that “Whore” we just saw must’ve been writ in ketchup… maybe barbecue sauce.  Amid the ramshackle altar, Canary finds an urn… which she peeks into.  Suddenly all the pieces fall into place.

In a nearby chair, where it appears as though some torture had been taking place, Dinah can see some fresh blood.  At the foot of the chair, she spots a wallet… belonging to Ken Glazier!  Now that’s awfully convenient.  Looks like we’re finally headed into the end-game!

I’ve said it before, but as many of you know, I often take any opportunity to repeat myself here… this really feels like they’re doing their damnedest to add pages to this arc.  While at the same time, it feels like we’re not getting enough information!  The past several chapters could have easily been condensed into like half the pages… and included some clear, concise storytelling in regards to the final fate of The Deb.  Not that we necessarily need to see her get whacked, but none of this really needed to be so nebulous.

I think many of us figured out where this story was going about 4-5 weeks ago… so, a lot of these “revelations” are falling pretty flat.  I, personally, don’t think every reveal needs to be an “A-ha!” moment, but this arc seems to think that’s the way a story is told.  There would be nothing wrong with playing this straight.

Despite the clear-as-mud art, this is a mostly linear story… the twists and turns are manufactured to be twisty and turny… the story never gets the opportunity to grow and evolve “organically”… which only makes the reveals feel all the more forced, hackneyed, and cliche.

Not sure how much of this we can lay at the feet of the storytelling team… or if the editorial team did the ol’ Uri Geller spoon trick on this story to make it fit better into the publication schedule… but, it’s getting weaker by the week.  Still, it’s leagues better than Wright and DuBurke’s first try with the character!

Tomorrow: Back in the U.S.A.

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