Review: Shutter #19

shutter_19-1The last issue of Shutter left readers on the precipice of action, with Kate ready to lead her siblings and friends into battle with Prospero. It was something of a breather for the series, which has been necessarily action heavy so far. Writer Joe Keatinge takes Shutter #19 in a different direction with an issue that has been a long time coming.

This issue can be read one of two ways, as artist Leila del Duca says in the backmatter. Readers finally learn more about the background of Kate Kristopher’s siblings. Instead of its usual structure of a varying number of panels per page, Shutter #18 sticks to a format of three-panel pages and runs with a color theme unique to this issue.

Each panel (top, middle, bottom) has a monochromatic color scheme and tells the story of a different Kristopher sibling (Chris Kristopher Jr., The Leopard, and Kalliyan Phy). Because of this, the story can be read by reading the entire page at once, or by following the top, middle, or bottom panel in order to read one character’s story at a time. Both are equally accessible, but reading one panel at a time highlights the disparities in each sibling’s upbringing. This format and subject, while answering questions, also keeps the reader guessing at why and how this came to be. The question of why Kate’s upbringing was so different from her siblings’ is partially answered, but the mystery of the series isn’t totally gone.

Colorist Owen Gieni and Leila del Duca get to experiment with art on this issue, and the cover is something of a preview for the story. The monochromatic color theme associated with each character keeps the story coherent, letting it build to a climactic finish.

Shutter‘s art is wonderfully consistent, and del Duca is a talented artist and a credit to the comic industry. The story is regaining momentum, but there’s no clear hint as to where it will go, something that Keatinge has done–and continues to do–well.

Story: Joe Keatinge Art: Leila del Duca Colors: Owen Gieni
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review