Review: Shadow Doctor #3

Shadow Doctor #3

Shadow Doctor has been an amazing series. It’s based on the true story of Nathaniel Calloway, an African-American doctor in the 1930s who turns to Al Capone for money to open a medical practice. The story seems so fantastical but the fact it’s reality makes it all the more intriguing. Shadow Doctor #3 has Nathaniel starting to feel the pinch from Capone. An attack has injured one of Capone’s crew and Capone wants Nathaniel to operate in the new doctor office he has provided. With a gun pointed at him, the issue builds tension as Nathaniel doesn’t have the equipment to do what needs to be done.

Written by Peter Calloway, Shadow Doctor #3 is a tense medical thriller. We’ve been told Nathaniel has the knowledge as a doctor but haven’t seen him perform. Here, he’s given a difficult task to achieve a miracle without the equipment needed. It’s an interesting combination as he has a gun literally pointed at him. The tension is a little undercut in that we know Nathaniel survives the stand-off. He’s the one telling the story. So, some of the threat is diminished. Still, it’s interesting to see how he deals with Capone and how Capone reacts. What I know of the gangster is mostly through film so this comic delivers a perspective of someone who knows him. It has created a more complicated picture of him and his life. As much as this is a story about Nathaniel, it’s also a first-person perspective of what one of the US’s most infamous criminals was really like.

The art by George Jeanty is fantastic. With color by Juancho! and lettering by Charles Pritchett, the visuals capture the situation so well. There’s a griminess to Nathaniel’s new office emphasizing how this isn’t an ideal location to perform surgery. The stand-off between Nathaniel and Capone is done well really conveying the emotion of it all. There is a drop-off in some detail, especially around faces but at times it really works in a way to capture the moment.

Shadow Doctor #3 is a fantastic issue. It gives us more of who Nathaniel is. By combining his current situation and some flashbacks to his time growing up, we get an even better sense of his life and his morals and inquisitive nature. Then there’s Capone. The comic delivers an emotional rollercoaster for him and sets up an unexpected journey through the issue. This is an amazing comic about an amazing life that captures a bit of American history everyone should check out.

Story: Peter Calloway Art: Georges Jeanty
Color: Juancho! Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Story: 8.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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