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Review: Shadecraft #1

Shadecraft #1

We all live in a shadow. Whether it’s a family member or something from our past, or our own expectations, we’re haunted. Shadecraft #1 delivers an exploration of that with Zadie Lu. Zadie is a high school student who is afraid of the shadows and for good reason. The shadows seem to be alive and attacking her for some reason.

Writer Joe Henderson takes us into a world that’s familiar but also haunting. So many of us have had that feeling that we’re being watched or chased and some might have experienced that sensation being their shadow. This takes that and turns it into both a magical and scary concept. What’s going on? We’re not quite sure but the setup is solid.

In Zadie, Henderson has found a character so many can relate to. An older brother whose shadow she falls. A rather serious parent whose shadow she also falls. Then there’s that of reputations and school popularity and Zadie’s life is one that feels familiar. Henderson also doesn’t go over the top with his concepts, instead building things slowly for the end reveal. It keeps readers guessing what’s in Zadie’s head and what’s real.

Lee Garbett‘s art helps with that by teasing the shadows giving them a look that can be both normal and not. At times it feels like the shadows are reaching for Zadie but in reality it’s what they should be doing. Antonio Fabela‘s color is key in that the shadows are dark and ominous but also not just flat black. There’s a life in them thanks to Garbett and Fabela. Simon Bowland‘s lettering is solid enhancing the moments and emotions just right.

Shadecraft #1 is a solid start. It’s a mystery as to what’s going on and dances between horror and something much more. There’s a family touch to it that grounds the story and adds a bit more than just scares and tension. The school aspects make Zadie a more believable character and one that’s a bit easier to connect to. I have a feeling that the series is going to deliver a lot more of that and turn on the waterworks.

Story: Joe Henderson Art: Lee Garbett
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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