Indie Comic Review: Anne Bonnie #4 – Under A Black Flag | FanboysInc

Indie Comic Review: Anne Bonnie #4 – Under A Black Flag

By Jeff Ayers

Creator/Writer/Artist: Tim Yates


Blue Juice Comics

Prepare the sails and raise the anchor, we are about to head out into the Shattered Isles, for the fourth issue of Anne Bonnie. One of the two stellar books out on Blue Juice Comics (the other being The Accelerators), this story follows the adventures of Ariana, who dreams of one day becoming the greatest pirate ever! But first, she must learn a few things about what being a pirate actually means.

For those who are just jumping on board this issue, let me catch you up a little. Ariana is an orphan, that was looked after by her uncle, Shen. She was in the care of the wizards of this realm, and was left there by Shen as he entrusted her with a special key. Ariana was always enamored by the tales of the great pirate captains of old, especially the pirate queen, Anne Bonnie. Ten years after Shen left, and Ariana had grown into a young woman, she found out that the key unlocked a magical ship that could sail on its own, The Crimson Dawn. She stole the ship and its contents of gold from the seemingly evil wizard and now strikes out on her own to seek her fame and fortune. She met up with a lovable phoenix, a runaway slave named Finn who is part human, and part mer (mermaid), and reunited with Shen who now only has one leg. (Peg legs are way cooler in a pirate story anyway.)

This issue finds the rag tag bunch trying to find a port so they may fix up their ship, which was damaged when Ariana got into her first naval skirmish. So far, because of her magical ship, her red hair, and her uncanny ability to see things so far away she can make impossible shots with her pistol, the legend of Anne Bonnie is alive and spreading once again. People haven’t seen the pirate queen in fifteen years, and with no confirmation of her demise, many assume that Ariana could in fact be Anne Bonnie. But, the truth is, Ariana just wants to be a pirate, but is still a kid at heart and doesn’t really know of the dangers she is facing. This includes meeting her first group of real pirates this issue, who may be already leading her down a dangerous path, unbeknownst to Shen who is desperately trying to keep her safe.


Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

The greatest strength of this book is the talented writing ability of Tim Yates. Sure, he is wearing all the hats in this scenario, and is producing some really rich and colorful artwork as well, that adds to the fun and adventure of the story. But the true greatness can be found in the pacing and dialogue in this book, because it reads like a incredibly infectious Saturday morning cartoon. (RIP Saturday morning cartoons, or I would champion this book to be made into one right away!) Full disclosure: I had not heard of Blue Juice Comics before I had come to FanboysInc, and maybe you haven’t yet either. But you should keep your eyes firmly fixed to that spyglass and keep a lookout for more books from this company. Anne Bonnie especially is just plain fun, providing the childhood wonder and adventure with hints of magic and mystery, all wrapped up in some hilarious circumstances thanks to Ariana’s slightly naive lust for life.


The “Best There Is”: I have to say it again, the writing is just top notch in this issue, and the previous ones as well. This is the fourth issue, all under the story arc of “The Journey Begins”, so all the characters and the settings are being mapped out for the reader. But it never feels forced or rushed, and it bounces along with just enough information that you are left wanting more at the end of each issue. I have my own theories about who Arian really might be, as well as some of the other characters, and I can’t wait to see if I am right or if I will be surprised. Also, the story touches a chord with girls and boys, so don’t write this off as a “girl centric comic book” just because the main character is a young girl. Every child daydreams of running off and finding adventure, and at the heart of this story it really plays on that beautifully.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: This being the fourth issue, and the world is being crafted around the reader, I understand the plethora of information that needs to be addressed. But, I worry that some of the characters and races might be glossed over considering the sheer magnitude of stuff being presented, such as wizards, and elves, and mer people, and pirates of all kinds, and multiple areas, and alliances and etc. This is only a minor concern, as it is one that all storytellers must contend with early in their story.

FBI Score: 9.5 out of 10. This is such a fun book I would recommend it to everyone: young, old, man, woman and child. In the realm of comic books, especially from the big three (Marvel, DC and Image), the stories can get dark and drama filled all too quickly. It is nice to have something fun and unassuming to read once in awhile. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for more from Blue Juice Comics and the further adventures of Anne Bonnie.



Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me: