Each issue, the creative team finds way of giving us at least one or two visuals that feel like we haven’t seen them several times before. For instance, the image of the canvas monsters disappearing sort of between the panels results in an odd visual of paint sort of reverse-geysering towards the floor. It’s hard to properly describe, but it’s an interesting image from Corin Howell.
Triona Farrell once again brings these outlandish creations and magic spells to startling life with some fantastic colors. One particular highlight of this issue is a kaleidoscopic display seen during a tense flashback sequence. It shows just how alarming magic can be in this world, even when the person using it feels completely comfortable with their dark abilities.
Readers do get more of a sense of the supporting cast’s motivations, particularly when it comes to Quill, but Gina remains a bit of an enigma. Part of the fun of the book is learning a bit more about her past in each issue, but it’s been hard to get a feel for her character as a whole in the last couple of issues. Gina has plenty of attitude and it’s clear that she brings a good deal of power to Section 26, but it does seem like her development has stalled a bit.
While I’m curious to get back to exploring Gina’s past, I am truly loving the tactic that Cavan Scott has taken with the last couple of issues, using her narration to lend context and weight to another character’s story. It’s a clever device that helps us get to know the lead character and also illuminates another corner of the Shadow Service world.
We do at least get a few more hints as to how Gina came to develop her powers, as well as a sense that there’s more to her level of power than even she knows. This series has done a good job of teasing that aspect out a little bit at a time, instead of spinning another “chosen one” narrative with Gina in the center. That’s another way that Shadow Service has managed to remain a refreshing entry in the urban fantasy genre.
Also, the developing mystery is more than enough to hold the audience’s interest while the series is still in its early issues, and the rapid succession of new creepy crawly monsters is always a blast to see. Hopefully the lead character sees a bit more fleshing out in the near future. Judging by Gina’s actions toward the end of this issue, it certainly seems as though readers are in for some interesting new developments.
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