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Review: Shutter #20

shutter_20-1Shutter has taken a noticeably experimental turn, first with issue #19 and again this month with #20. Where last month’s chapter showcased three of Kate Kristopher’s siblings’ histories at once in a triptych layout, Shutter #20 develops one of Kate’s other siblings.

Once again, Kate is faced with difficult decisions as she decides how best to proceed in the fight against Prospero. Readers (and Kate herself) are still processing the information Kate’s grandfather has given her, and while it has put the brakes on the actual fighting for a while, it has given the creative team a chance to develop the characters significantly.

This arc has accomplished a lot of character development, bringing Kate’s siblings to the forefront with her, and has also given the team a chance to be more experimental in their storytelling. The experimentation isn’t necessary to make the story interesting, since the complex narrative, worldbuilding, and characters do that on their own, but it does help to strengthen the personalities of the characters. Kate is still very much at the center of the story, but the reader is also getting more of a sense of who the rest of the Kristopher siblings are through the way in which each sibling’s story is told.

Shutter #20 is still penciled by Leila del Duca, who seems to get better each issue. Each character has a unique perspective, and this part of the story, largely told in a collaborative effort between Kate and the General is illustrated simply, with minimal detail. Colorist Owen Gieni keeps the palette simple with flat, bright colors, lending the new character a history tinted with innocence and a youthfulness that hasn’t really been present elsewhere in the story. The alternative art style is somewhat reminiscent of Emi Lenox’s flashback art in Nowhere Men, a charming interlude to the story. Though different from previous issues, the art team remains consistently awesome in color, illustration, and giving the characters life and personality.

Once again, writer Joe Keatinge leaves readers with no clue as to where the story will go next. It is clear that a conflict with Prospero is drawing closer, but the back of issue #20 teases “the final three” in reference to the last of the siblings Kate doesn’t know. Other characters like Cassius and Chris Kristopher Sr. have been noticeably absent from the narrative, building a sense of intrigue regarding their whereabouts. Despite all the answers Shutter has given, it largely remains a mystery.

Story: Joe Keatinge Art: Leila del Duca
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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