Stories where students go to some kind of special to learn about some special subject (usually magic” are a dime a dozen. They also vary in quality based on how well written the story is. “Blackwood” by writer Evan Dorkin and artist Veronica Fish is the newest installment in this genre and it’s mediocre.
A group of students arrives at “Blackwood College,” a school that trains students in the occult, late one night. What’s meant to be a normal orientation turns scary as these students have to deal with the occult way earlier than they expected to.
The plot is well thought out, setting up this mystery and giving these students a chance into dealing with the occult before even begin is a great way to write this story. The problem is that these characters are some of the most annoying people to the point where you want to see them die. They act like the typical college students: snotty, tech-obsessed and bratty. While on paper this works in that, yes, college freshmen are exactly like that, it doesn’t make for strong characterization since the non-teenage/college-aged readers will want to strangle all four of them.
The only time the comic becomes in any way interesting is the last few pages when stuff goes down. The reason for that is because this turns into the horror movie game where you want to see who dies first and how.
He artwork is fine. The characters have nice designs that make them look like what the typical college freshman would look like and their looks basically identify their personalities. Yes, even the art shows off how one-dimensional these characters are. There’s the short-tempered girl with the short, dyed hair and tough physique, the douche, the butt monkey and the Asian girl. Granted, they are drawn well, it’s just that you can tell what their personalities would be like the second you see them.
“Blackwood” has a decent idea, but the overall story is underwhelming with unlikable characters and decent art. While teenager/college students will eat this up, this comic is just fast food that’s meant to be consumed for a quick, cheap meal with little nourishment.