Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren's new title, Black Cloak, continues hitting its stride. An overwhelmingly positive first issue review and intriguing follow-up set the scene for this sci-fi, fantasy murder-mystery to grow its wings.
The main character Phaedra, a Black Cloak (detective), has to investigate the murder of Prince Freyal of Kiros—who also happens to be an old friend and former romantic partner. Black Cloak #3 unveils an added element to this mystery, as somebody is covering their tracks.
*Warning: This post contains spoilers for Black Cloak #3*
The investigation grows weary
Black Cloak #3 hits the ground running, with Phaedra explaining the events at the end of issue two to Pax (her detective partner). Because The Kiros Three, and by extension the human faction of Kiros, declare their innocence to Phaedra, everything in the investigation seems to point at the Draconas as the main suspects.
In previous issues, Phaedra notices that Prince Freyal's wounds look to be self-inflicted, and a tattoo on his arm which stands for honor is scratched out. Phaedra takes Pax to a secret hideout in The Trees where her and Prince Freyal once hung out at as kids—hoping that if this is a self-inflicted death, he would leave a note behind somewhere.
Naturally, they do find a key in the hideout to a recorded hologram of Freyal pleading for Phaedra's help. Assuming he would be dead by the time she sees the visual, Freyal hints at something that he uncovers, which spirals out of his control. The message cuts out due to a magical power surge, and Phaedra leaves with her partner to retire at Pax's household.
Eyebrows raised and questions asked
Back at Castle Kiros, readers raise their eyebrows. The magic healer assists Phaedra with her injuries, and Master Lysanthir questions Valorie. Valorie explains that she uses one of her unique spells that helps Phaedra heal quickly. Lysanthir seemingly accepts the reasoning and clears Valorie from the room, though, he doesn't completely buy it. Master Lysanthir thinks that even with this special spell, Phaedra should be dead from the attack—maybe, there is more to Phaedra than meets the eye.
Meanwhile, Pax and Phaedra travel to The Heights to meet with a new, shady figure named Renna. Renna knew Frey before his death, and the Black Cloaks are there to see how much she knows. After some questioning, Phaedra realizes that they are not the first to talk to her—someone gets there first. Whoever it is pays Renna off, and isn't giving much away. She lets slip, though, that she believes Dracona Royals were there earlier.
Well, potentially—in a magical world, anybody can be anyone at any given minute.
Coming to a dead end, Phaedra realizes the mermaids from the first issue, are their only viable lead that hasn't been tampered with. The issue ends when Pax and Phaedra enter the dangerous waters of the maids, which is where Freyal's lover (Dace) was seemingly murdered at the lagoon at the same time as Freyal's death.
Black Cloak #3 continues its form
The added levels of mystery can be a lot to keep up with, but after settling in and unveiling other potential players in the murder, Black Cloak #3 continues to hold my interest. Kelly Thompson does well with Phaedra's character—showing a blend of pity, remorse, and anger when she discovers the new layer of her friend's death. She can be funny, at times, but in the end, she knows she is the only hope for justice in the Prince's murder.
Meredith's art also shines in this issue. Phaedra's change of expressions go from upset to cheeky whenever she tricks Pax into going somewhere he doesn't want to go. Kelly writes smirks that compliment the one-line quips, as always. Meredith creates unique characters—one of them being an elder, two-legged fox creature with a beard and glasses.
Overall, this issue is solid and the cliffhanger of diving deep into the mermaid's lagoon will keep me anticipating for next month's reveal. Pick up your copy today at your local comic shop!
Black Cloak #3
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art and Colors: Meredith McClaren
Letters: Becca Carey
Edits: Charles Beacham
Design: Rian Hughes
'Black Cloak #3' Review'Black Cloak #3' Review
- Phaedra and Pax continue to come across likable and often funny
- Meredith's creature design remains top notch
- The murder mystery continues to hold interest
- The added aspects of the murder mystery can sometimes be a lot to keep up with