“Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart” Issue 1 – Review

Black's Myth The Key to His Heart Issue 1 review
Black’s Myth: The Key to His Hear Issue 1 (Image: AHOY Comics)

Writer Eric Palicki and artist Wendell Cavalcanti are back with the second installment in the highly-enjoyable paranormal mystery comic book series Black’s Myth. The debut issue of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart introduced a new case for our leads to handle.

I received a free digital copy of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 1 to review. The opinions I have shared are my own. 

I became a fan of the Black’s Myth series the moment I began reading it back in 2021. As a paranormal mystery writer myself, who also focuses on queer narratives, I enjoy stories that find a creative way of melding the supernatural with the mundane human world. Black’s Myth gave me an interesting queer lead via a werewolf private investigator named Janie Jones “Strummer” Mercardo. And it struck the right balance between relatable character drama and mythological beings.

As I continued to read the five-issue series, I hoped we would get a second season. And now in 2023, the second outing has finally debuted!

And yes, I still have my fingers crossed that a network decides to give this series a live-action adaptation. The world in Black’s Myth can lead to some very engrossing storytelling.

Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart issue 1 is a continuation of the original chapters. Strummer and her half-Djinn partner Ben Si’lat are still working on solving cases. Strummer’s also in a good place in her relationship with Carly (who is living with her and Ben). But you can just feel that something big will happen to rock the boat.

The current issue opened with Strummer and Ben tracking down a young teen girl named Claire Jenkins. And while at first you would consider Claire to be a normal human teen who seems to be in a rush to grow up, you know that there’s more to her than meets the eye. There has to be a reason Strummer’s so interested in her, right?

And yes, sure enough, we get a well-paced reveal about Claire being a… drum roll… half-demon.

I liked Strummer and Claire’s conversation as the detective led the young teen toward a particular type of test. I understood where Claire was coming from and why she felt she needed to act a certain way to “fit” in. Strummer also shared some good advice about not allowing anyone to make you feel pressured into being sexually active when you know you aren’t ready.

Even adults can feel pressured to act in a particular manner so they can be considered part of a group. So you can imagine what teens go through, especially considering the current times.

As for the test, the majestic unicorn Ben brought in front of Claire was supposed to confirm her innocence. The fact she could still see it meant that the demon part hadn’t taken over her… yet. Strummer was rightfully worried about the entries Claire made about a boy named Danny in her diary. Claire needed help.

Now, I have to say that Strummer wanting Claire to become her intern did feel a bit too rushed to me. I get that Strummer wanted to keep a closer eye on Claire. But introducing an intern during the beginning of a five-issue-long second season, while I still want to learn more about Ben and Strummer has me a bit concerned about how the story will be divided amongst the cast.

Also, I don’t know about you, but Claire was a bit too chill about seeing a unicorn for the first time. I was expecting her to act a bit more surprised. But maybe I missed something about Claire always feeling some kind of link to the paranormal due to her demonic heritage? Hmmm. I would like to know more about what Claire does and doesn’t already know about the supernatural.

I also want to learn a bit more about how Claire ended up being a half-demon in the first place. At this point, I would like to ask her mother a few questions. And with Claire being a half-demon, how many others are out there? Does she, in a way, have siblings?

Again, the world in Black’s Myth is rich and ready to be explored!

@thegeekiary “Black’s Myth” Volume 2 Issue 1 – Recap and Review – Queer Paranormal Mystery Comic Series! #Lgbt #comic #paranormal #werewolf #demon #comicbook #queer ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box – takaya

Coming back to the internship, it will be interesting to see what Strummer will and won’t do if she’s unable to help Claire control her demonic side, especially when you can tell that Strummer and Claire will grow closer as the story progresses. Incoming drama!

Ben even brought that up after the unicorn test. What would Strummer have done if Claire had failed to see the unicorn?

And top that off with R. Black, from the first season, being back in Strummer’s life and her wanting to develop her romance with Carly, I’m looking forward to what Palicki has in store for readers.

As for the art, the series kept with the black-and-white style. While reviewing the first volume, I mentioned how such a creative decision might deter certain readers. Not everyone is into such a style when reading US comics. Manga is a whole separate thing, though.

In my option, Cavalcanti did a good job of visualizing details and depth in black and white. The panel where the unicorn is first introduced made the mystical horse look… mystical. I loved it.

Another highlight for me was one of the panels covering Ben and Strummer’s walk back home. During the scene, Strummer’s reflection in the shop’s mirror was depicted via her werewolf form when she assured Ben she would have handled the situation with Claire properly. Such artistic touches really encourage readers to take their time when reading comic books to get the full experience of what the writer and artist want to convey.

If you are someone who has been looking for a paranormal noir detective story with a queer lead, I would urge you to pick Black’s Myth up even if the current art style isn’t what you usually gravitate toward. In a way, it works with the story’s vibe.

As for the extra stories, I didn’t understand what ‘Like a Fish in the Night’ was trying to say, but writer Sam Share did make me chuckle a handful of times as I read a detective short story filled with pop culture references and being all over the place.

Writer Dave Giarrusso’s ‘Foot Fault’, on the other hand, made me go ‘huh?’

The short story shared the issues in Jake and Brenda’s relationship as Jake tried to help his girlfriend after she injured her foot. No matter what Jake did, Brenda couldn’t be less appreciative. With how the story ended, I think it was supposed to be a take on the “taste of your medicine” narrative. But with how Brenda and Marcie acted, it made it look like women are prone to being ungrateful in relationships while men are ready to help… which… meh!

Have you been reading Black’s Myth? What did you think of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 1?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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