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Blackwood: The Mourning After #3 Review

4 min read

Raising the dead is a lot more complicated than one might think.

Creative Staff:
Story: Evan Dorkin
Art: Veronica Fish & Andy Fish
Letterer: Greg McKenna

What They Say:
Evan Dorkin! The students learn about the Dark Wisdom conspiracy, but can they warn everyone else about the planned attack on Dean Ogden’s midnight funeral? Probably not, because we still have an issue to go! Also: Chimp Ho Tep’s second escape attempt, an occult heist scheme, scrying, dying, corpse dumping, a dead art student, and the meat from space that eats your face. WTF?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Blackwood series started off strong for me in its original run that I was definitely excited to see where the sequel series would go. The first two issues proved harder to get into than I thought and then a little pandemic slows things down a couple of extra months just to make it all the tougher. Evan Dorkin is playing a long game here with the story, it feels like, so we get something that takes its time as it prepares for a funeral event. Veronica and Andy Fish breathe some great life into it as everyone is distinctive – and we do get a lot of characters – and there are a lot of neat little moments in the artwork the sell the attention to detail in how it all works. It looks great overall, which I wasn’t surprised by at all, but the momentum that the series had was already problematic and suffers a bit more now.

The kids in this instance are doing their best for their friend by taking him to the well and dumping his body in, all of the parts of it in fact, in order to try and hope that it’ll revive him. Believing that the events with Ogden were shortened and not done right, they’re hopeful but wary about what they may actually accomplish here. It’s interesting to watch the different kinds of panic they have over the event with some more confident than others, especially as one of them has swiped a lot of Ogden’s goods since there’s some real power in them. It’s definitely amusing to see their concern level and how some haven’t realized that what they’ve done will be discovered one way or another and they’re going to get caught. They’re really the only suspects in the theft of the body never mind if he turns up alive.

With Ogden’s funeral itself, that occupies a decent chunk of time here as well since it’s a big event. INSPECT has definitely taken over the campus to ensure things are done right and protected but it definitely rankles those that realized Ogden have kept them separate for years for a reason. It’s interesting to watch some of the revelations sink in, such as Russell’s new position of power and importance, but also just the pomp and circumstance of the whole event. At least until the mysterious masked group begins to make their attack through the mirror portals and it just gets chaotic, bloody, and violent. I’m lost as to who they are and their goals at this point but it’s simple enough to follow and enjoy with how well it’s presented. But it’s an area that has suffered with the delays and the larger gap between the two series.

In Summary:
I love the concept of Blackwood and what it does overall but the property is one that really needs to have everything on hand (or a better recap page) in order to reconnect with it thanks to the publishing gaps. This one is a bit of a transitional issue as we’re getting bodies moved around and a funeral about to get underway but there are big magics afoot. Dorkin’s script is pretty verbose but it works well to explore several avenues while the artwork from the Fish’s is fantastic with some neat designs and details to the whole thing that makes me really enjoy each individual panel a lot. The struggles are definitely worth it with Blackwood.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 27th, 2020
MSRP: $3.99


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