Written by: Jean-Michel Charlier, Frédéric Zumbiehl, Patrice Buendia
Illustrations: Francis Bergèse
Coloring: Frédéric Bergèse
Buck Danny One Shot #1 Blackbirds – Comic Book Review
You might not believe it, but in 2017, Buck Danny is already celebrating his seventieth birthday. That of course calls for some celebration, and thus Blackbirds came back on the radar, after being left unfinished for nearly thirty years because of the untimely death of scenarist Jean-Michel Charlier. Now, the story will finally be finished by Patrice Buendia and Frédéric Zumbiehl, be it in two parts of which the second one will come out later this year. Illustrator Francis Bergèse, who already provided the illustrations for the unfinished part, jumped on board again, to finish what he started so many years ago.
Buck Danny and his mates are called to Japan, to the Kadena Air Force Base. Their mission: spying on the Russians. It’s not an easy task, as the airspace around the Russian borders is probably the most dangerous airspace on earth, and thus Buck, Sonny and Tumbler will get intensive training at the base.
At Fort Belvoir in the US, the signals from American spying satellites show a high concentration of electronic activity and an unusual source of heat somewhere in Siberia. The signals aren’t conclusive enough to know exactly what’s going on over there, but the CIA presumes it must be a top secret project of the Russians. The only way to really figure out what’s going on, is sending an aircraft to the region to take pictures, but as the Russians will probably not hesitate to shoot when they see an American aircraft in their airspace, they will have to come up with quite an ingenious plan which, as you might have already guessed, will involve Buck, as well as Sonny and Tumbler.
There is quite a lot of tension noticeable in the story, as it’s quite clear that the mission is very dangerous and could well turn out very bad. Even though the matter is quite complicated to understand, Buendia and Zumbiehl took their time to lay it out for you, so that everything still stays understandable. Action scenes with the aircrafts of course couldn’t be left out, but next to that, a more airy note is added with short snippets in which Sonny is his usual clumsy self, thus breaking up the story a bit. A nice touch to this album is that in between the panels, there is some information added about the different airplanes mentioned, which helps to put everything more in perspective.
Buck Danny still looks as he always did. Francis Bergèse picked up exactly where he left off in 1988, and you can’t even tell the difference. Still looking fairly detailed, with a lot of attention to the aircrafts themselves and facial expressions of the characters, Bergèse shows that he’s still got it.
Buck Danny One Shot #1 Blackbirds makes a promising start for a story that will be continued later this year. Tension rises between the Americans and the Russians and thus the tone is properly set. Illustrator Francis Bergèse shows that he hasn’t gone out of practice, as his illustrations look as crisp as ever. It can only make us conclude that the storyline is quite interesting thus far, and we hope that the next album will have a worthy ending to this promising story.