Black Cloud #1 Review


Story by Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon

Script by Ivan Brandon

Art by Greg Hinkle

Color by Matt Wilson

Color Flats by Dee Cunniffe

Lettering by Aditya Bidikar

The stories we tell lay a foundation for our perceptions of the reality around us and aspirations for the future ahead. They tantalize us with promises of a better world, but that just isn’t the case for those who choose to escape the those worlds where metaphors and surrealism reign supreme. The nameless protagonist has escaped this presumed “Dream World” for a reason which the reader doesn’t get to find out. It’s a mystery that’s alluded to as the comic shifts from reality to reality.

The characterization of our nameless protagonist makes money by hustling the wealthy and treating the experience as merely a drug. The cynical portrayal of being able to access this state of imaginary bliss with less color given to a world with humanoid animals in a 1920s bar. The hustle itself on the part of our protagonist shows that there is more to this “trip” than meets the eye. The world despite its fantastical elements is grey because it isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. Our protagonist left that world a long time ago, but she seems to be more trouble than she’s worth.

One of the more interesting aspects of the comic is this idea of the grass being greener on the other side. While the black and white fantasy world promises adventure and intrigue, it doesn’t have the same colors of reality. Reality is filled with interesting things to look at and wonder. There are layers to reality with each one different than the other. The protagonist talks about the one above reality as a chaotic and meaningless mess. Yet, she along with others from this dream-like world chose to come to this reality. The one where a mayor’s son has a recreational activities that involve illegal drugs. A world where one has to compromise their beliefs to survive because “every fairytale has monsters.”

It’s an incredibly fulfilled first issue that promises a mystery of magical substance. It ‘s a trip through our world and another where the rules are unlike ours, but whether that’s for the better is unforeseen. Color is a hugely important aspect of any comic, but this one in particular is using it to portray meaning, elicit emotion, and bring metaphor to life. It’s concerned with the magical thinking that wanders to the mind from time to time and contests those idealizations. It means to challenge a reader to reevaluate the stories they tell themselves because our dreams could be false idols of our disposition.



Buy! This team is ready to challenge their readers and serve them up metaphysical questions and not just question our realities, but our fantasies as well. This is what comic book is supposed to do. It’s meant to have us flood the pages with the investment that when we come out on the other side we learn something completely new. It’s a great story, but it’s so much more than that. Pick this up.

I'm a journalism major at Rutgers University who loves reading comic books and writing fiction for fun.

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