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Review: Shutter #18

shutter_18-1Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca’s Shutter returns this week in its first issue since November. The third volume was released in trade paperback form last month, and hopefully readers are all caught up because this issue isn’t one to miss.

So far, Shutter has been incredibly action-heavy, even though that action is necessary to the plot. Keatinge is a master in carrot and stick, teasing the readers with enough information to keep the story on the right side of line between “still incredibly intriguing” and “frustrating.” Until now, many, many questions have gone unanswered because the reader learns information as Kate learns it, though this changes when she “learns everything” from her grandfather. While Shutter #17 did bring the arc to a dramatic climax, the reader learned almost nothing about what Kate’s grandfather showed her. Shutter #18 doesn’t leave the reader entirely in the dark, revealing just enough to answer a few burning questions.

In terms of pace, this issue is something of a necessary pause. It slows the action enough to delve into Kate’s history, namely the unaddressed ten-year gap between her father’s “death” and the present story. Shutter #18 gives depth to the relationship between Kate and Alain and Kate and Huckleberry, and begins to explain Alain’s resentment toward Huckleberry.

Kate doesn’t back down from her decision to “end the world,” and together with the sinister turn of heart that Cassius/Alarm Cat has taken and the life-changing information Kate has learned from her grandfather, this issue gives the sense of being  the calm before the storm.

If seeing more of Kate’s past was a highlight of the issue, Leila Del Duca’s art was the other, equally awesome highlight, as she continues to totally nail the art. The characters are livened with dynamic facial expression and movement, never seeming too stiff or still on the page.

Though the beginning of the arc may seem somewhat slow, the tension in this issue has a chance to simmer and build, suggesting that Kate and company will truly have some rough storms to weather before Shutter sees its end.

Story: Joe Keatinge Art: Leila Del Duca
Story: 8 Art: 9.7 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review