General DC

Review: Shanghai Red #2

After being abducted and spending three hard years trapped at sea, Red has finally returned to the city of Portland. As she tracks down what’s left of her family and her old life, Red begins a bloody campaign of vengeance against the runners and crimps who put her on that boat. One body at a time.

Vengeance stories are common. One that stars a woman and set during the late 1800s… well, that’s rare. Shanghai Red started off with a hell of a gut punch of a tale and the second issue doesn’t disappoint at all.

Writer Christopher Sebela delivers a character in Red that feels up there as far as this type of story. Red is brutal in her abilities and destruction, meticulous and planning in her plan, and cold in her delivery. Sebela has created a vengeance story that’s both heartbreaking and cold and calculated. Red is a character we can feel sorry for and utterly scared of. The brutal deaths emphasize that and creates a comic that’s visceral and bloody.

The art by Joshua Hixson, with lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, enhances the story by adding in a dirty and cold visual that emphasizes the brutality of it all. Fights, burning bodies, the damage is just enough to make you wince and imagine the anger and rage that led to it all. The low-fi nature of it all helps by forcing the fights to be up close and personal.

The second issue continues the story of vengeance and ups the brutal nature of it all. This is a story that’s both expected and unexpected at the same time as Red works her way up the chain to find the person(s) who wronged her while searching for her family. By giving us an anti-hero that’s rare in a setting that feels even rarer in comics we have a series that takes a story we’ve seen before and deliver something fresh and new.

Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Joshua Hixson
Color: Joshua Hixson Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review