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Indie Comic Review: Black Noblesse

It's cool how different stories can approach a setting in a variety of different ways. A setting is just that. It sets the stage for the players to carry out their action and drama. But how much action and drama is heavily dependent upon the storyteller. That's the feeling I get from Black Noblesse. It sets up a very particular fantasy world with a fleshed out backstory. I fully expected there to be a lot of fantastical action and adventure because of it. But what I got was a high level of political and drama and intrigue, which was perfectly in line with the other storytelling decisions such as pacing, characterization, plotting, and even the story’s intended demographic with respect to its artwork. 


The story takes place in a fantasy world where the well-off members of society have risen above what they consider the lowlands. Upper class citizens live on a floating island and govern the world through a very strict hierarchy. The story is about a girl named Nailah who is competing to become the heir of one of the cities noble corporate families. But things become complicated when her and her father are attacked. She manages to make it out alive, but her father is poisoned. Unfortunately, without any proof of an attacker, she is arrested for the murder.


I expected the story based on its premise and setting to have a lot more action than it did. There was some during the assassination attempt, but this is primarily a coming of age character drama as Nailah seeks to carve her path in this cutthroat world of business and politics. That's where the story shines and will find its intended audience. Even though, the book could have taken its subject matter in a completely different direction, it knows the kind of story it wants to tell and leans heavily into it without trying to do too much. And that's why it succeeds despite being something other than I expected.

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