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Black Cloud’s Addictive Magic

The rich and powerful can buy their dreams, but the cost is war

Everyone dreams of traveling to a fantastical realm. It could be to see impossible wonders. Or maybe just to escape their everyday existence.

So, what happens if you meet someone with the power to take you to another world filled with magic and fantastical creatures? And what would you do to get there?

These questions are at the center of Image Comics new fantasy book Black Cloud #1.

Selling Dreams to the Rich

Black Cloud #1 focuses on Zelda, a mysterious young homeless girl wandering the streets begging for money. However, she has a secret. She’s from a magical world–one she can travel to at her discretion.

In addition, she can sell these trips to wealthy members of society at whatever price she names. This power would seem to offer her a solution to her financial woes. But as the story progresses, it’s revealed that this other world may not be as welcoming as initially expected. And the people willing to pay for this trip likely possess sinister motives.

Black Cloud #1
Black Cloud #1

This a fantasy story that also feels very timely. It focuses on economic disparity and the clash of classes, all surrounding a magical mythology.

The writing team of Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon develop a very conflicted hero. She exists in a very complicated and relatable world. And her abilities are used as a metaphor for drug dealing. In this analogy, the writers able to criticize the nature of spoiled rich kids seeking any kind of high–whether it’s drugs or, in this case, magic.

The art in this type of book can really be make or break the story. But Greg Hinkle delivers a very interesting take on a mystical realm. Instead of pristine and gorgeous landscapes, it’s a grimy, art deco, noirish aesthetic that evokes curiosity about the details of this new world.

Overall, this is a fantasy tale with a lot of depth. It also has some great story threads that will surely be picked up in future issues.

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEXT FOR ZELDA AND PRE-ORDER BLACK CLOUD #2 and BLACK CLOUD #3

Black Cloud #1, Image Comics, Release Date April 5, 2017, Written by Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon, Art by Greg Hinkle, $3.99

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Written by John Campbell

John has been in love with comics since he was first given an issue of "Swamp Thing" at way too young an age. He can be heard every week on the podcast "Panel on Panels" discussing all things comics and comics related. He is also a filmmaker and actor who can be seen performing in shows around the Portland area.