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Review: Shadow Doctor #5

Shadow Doctor #5

Shadow Doctor has been an amazing series in its five-issue run. The history it dove into. The story it told. Both are so rich and the series provided a new perspective into our world and history. Shadow Doctor #5 wraps up this story of Nathaniel Calloway, the grandfather of the comic writer Peter Calloway. Nathaniel was a doctor in the 1930s who when he couldn’t get a loan to start a practice turned to his “friend” Al Capone to start one. In return, Capone would send his men to Calloway for injuries and to be treated. It’s a riveting true-life story that paints Capone in a new and interesting way and delivers a tense piece of history in its narrative.

Shadow Doctor #5 wraps up what is a gangster story from a different perspective. Beyond the expected bullets and blood, the series delivers a story about a man who is forced to do bad in order to do good. Nathan knows by healing Capone’s men he extends the war they are having with a rival gang. That results in more individuals getting hurt and dying. Nathan also knows if he doesn’t, Capone will not be happy and who knows what he’ll do. The series presents a man full of regrets but struggling with a moral quandary. Though he is doing bad, it has allowed him to open a clinic to help his neighborhood, one that is underserved.

Shadow Doctor #5 ups the tension even further as Nathan is approached with a demand from a rival gang. The issue cements that there’s few good choices left for him forcing his hand as to what to do next.

And, that might be the worst part of the issue! It abruptly ends leaving readers wanting more (not a bad thing). We know Nathan lives since he’s telling the story but it’s the next step that could become even more tension-filled. Here’s hoping we get another volume that tells more of the story.

The art by George Jeanty continues to impress. There’s a solid look to the series that screams its time period. With color by Juancho! and lettering by Charles Pritchett, the series feels like the time period it takes place in its design and details as well as the artwork style. There’s also a solid use of letting the reader really imagine the damage from Capone’s war and the bloody messes left on Nathan’s table. It’d easy for the art to use shock but instead it plays things in a conservative way.

Shadow Doctor #5 is a fantastic finale that leaves the reader wanting more. It’s a great use of the comic medium that highlights an interesting part of American history. It does it all in a gripping and engaging way. One of the best comic releases this year.

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

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Shadow Doctor #4

Shadow Doctor #4

There are comics that you read that stand out. Shadow Doctor has been that series for me. The story focuses on Nathaniel Calloway the grandfather of the writer of the series. In the 1930s, Nathaniel became a doctor and struggled to open a practice of his own due to the color of his skin. To raise the funds, he turns to Al Capone, an old friend of his, for help. This is his true story about his regrets and triumphs and it’s a story so amazing it’s hard to believe it’s true. Shadow Doctor #4 continues the wild ride as Nathaniel reflects on his death bed the spiral his decision to Capone caused while also delivering a glimmer of hope.

Written by Peter Calloway, Shadow Doctor #4 is a solemn issue in many ways. Nathaniel reflects on what it meant to go to Capone for help. He was now the mob’s doctor. In the evenings he had to fix wounds from battle which then healed the criminals to go out and do more harm. As a doctor, he had an obligation to heal but in his role he was only causing more harm. He was also caught in a tight spot as he wasn’t reporting what he was seeing to the police making him in Capone’s pocket even more than he already was.

Calloway does an amazing job of depicting the tough spot and regrets his grandfather had about what he did. There’s a clear sadness and understanding his actions caused more harm and death. But, Peter also gives us hope. In a part of the comic that reverberates today, Nathaniel discusses how the Black community saw him as the “devil”. They didn’t trust the science or medicine and refused to go to him for help. The White community did as well as they didn’t want to be cared for by a Black man. That left his days empty while his evenings he took care of the mob.

It’s an interesting part of the comic as we see some of these issues today. The African American community has an understandable distrust in medicine due to hundreds of years of mistreatment. COVID vaccinations for example lag in the community due to that mistrust as structural issues. It’s interesting that things haven’t changed in almost 100 years. Understandably so.

The art by Georges Jeanty is fantastic. With color by Juancho! and lettering by Charles Pritchett, Nathaniel’s regrets are almost catalogued panel by panel. We see Nathaniel pull out bullets and stitch up stab wounds. As he reflects on counting all of the damage from war he healed, we too see the sadness. It’s presented as almost Nathaniel is trying to remember them all in that moment. We the reader are forced to witness it all. But, through all of that, there’s hope. The latter half of the comic gives us a glimmer of good and the last panel is an almost 180 from the sadness that preceded it.

Shadow Doctor #4 is another amazing issue in an amazing story. Its details reverberate today in many ways and it serves as a reminder of how things haven’t changed and for good reason. We as a nation are still paying for the crimes committed. Shadow Doctor #4 is a reminder that there is still so much more work to be done.

Story: Peter Calloway Art: Georges Jeanty
Color: Juancho! Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Exclusive Preview: Shadow Doctor #3

Shadow Doctor #3

Writer: Peter Calloway
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Colorist: Juancho!
Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Cover: Mark Chiarello
$3.99 / 32 pages / Color / On sale 4.28.2021

Nathaniel got what he wanted: he had the money – a gift from Al Capone – to start his medical practice. He was going to be a doctor.

Then the bomb went off. In the chaotic aftermath – and with a life on the line – Nathaniel was going to learn what taking money from the mafia truly meant.

Shadow Doctor #3

Review: Dead Day

“Dead Day” is a holiday from sunset to sunrise the deceased rise from the grave. This is the story of a family as they prepare for the annual holiday.

Dead Day collects the five issues of the series, a fantastic read we highly recommend.

Story: Ryan Parrot
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Color: Juancho!
Letterer: Charles Pritchett

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
comiXology
Zeus Comics
TFAW

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Shadow Doctor #2

Shadow Doctor #2

The debut of Shadow Doctor was fantastic. The series is a true-life story about Nathaniel Calloway as he attempts to create a life as a doctor in Chicago. Due to racism, Nathaniel must go to an old friend of his for help to start his dream, Al Capone. Shadow Doctor #2 is a fascinating second issue that makes Al Capone a slightly sympathetic person.

Written by Nathaniel’s grandson Peter Calloway, Shadow Doctor #2 is a fantastic second issue that dives further into Nathaniel’s past and his difficult journey. What Peter does is really interesting though, he takes us through Capone’s thought process as to whether he’ll help Nathaniel and we learn a bit about his thoughts on race during the time. Along with a moment with a women he was interested in and Capone’s mother, Peter paints a very different picture of Capone than I expected. There’s a lot to think about as far as Nathaniel and Capone’s journey through life. Shadow Doctor #2 delivers a solid dose of reality of the time.

Georges Jeanty‘s art is fantastic, much like the debut issue. With Juancho! on color and Charles Pritchett on lettering, the art is a grounded style that fits the comic based on history. I’m not an expert on the design of the time but know what Capone looks like. The art does a solid job of depicting Capone so I’d expect the clothing, cars, other things of the time are pretty on target as well. It feels like the period to me as a reader and in the end that’s what really matters. Things look authentic which helps me get even more focused on the story.

And it’s a really interesting story. What happens in Shadow Doctor #2 is unexpected with ups and downs and some really fascinating twists. The fact that this true has sucked me in even more. I have to know what happens next for Nathaniel and where the story goes. For those that enjoy mob and crime stories, this is a must. For those that like history, this is a must. And for those that enjoy history about race in America, this absolutely is a must. Shadow Doctor #2 is one of the most original comics on the shelf and beyond engaging.

Story: Peter Calloway Art: Georges Jeanty
Color: Juancho! Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Nuclear Family #1

It’s the tension of the Cold War and then the bombs begin to fall. Nuclear Family #1 kicks off an interesting alternate history.

Story: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Tony Shasteen
Color: JD Mettler
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Backmatter design: Charles Pritchett

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Kindle
comiXology
Zeus Comics

AfterShock Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Shadow Doctor #1

Shadow Doctor #1

Years in the making, Shadow Doctor #1 kicks off the true story of writer Peter Calloway’s grandfather, Nathaniel Calloway, a Black man who graduated from medical school in the early 1930’s. Unable to get work at any Chicago hospitals because he was Black, and unable to secure a loan from a bank to start his own practice because he was Black, he turned to another source of money in Prohibition-era Chicago: the Mafia, run by none other than Al Capone.

Comics are never, and should never, be full of superheroes. Sure, there’s great superhero stories out there – and I love my share of superhero comics – but comics have so much more to offer than that. Case in point, Shadow Doctor #1 published by Aftershock Comics, written by Peter Calloway featuring art by Georges Jeanty, colours by Mark Chirallo and letters by Charles Pritchett. The story itself is based on the true story of Calloway’s grandfather, a black doctor unable to work in 1930’s Chicago because of his skin colour – let that sink in for a moment, because in an age where we’re crying out for doctors (at least in my neck of the woods) having one unable to work because of their skin colour should be unfathomable – but we’re not really that far removed from this reality. It was only ninety years ago that Doctor Nathaniel Calloway was unable to find work – a lifetime, yes, but we all know that the 30’s wasn’t when things changed.

And so it’s against this backdrop of the Great Depression in prohibition era Chicago that a man who wants to use what he’s gone to school for to earn a living – something that is probably far too real for many of us.

Calloway the author tells his grandfather’s story with an unfiltered honesty; despite there clearly being a love and respect for his grandfather, the writer doesn’t shy away from the choices that Nathanial Calloway made – although we only see the tip of the iceberg in the first issue, and by not doing so he creates a bond of truth with the reader in that his grandfather’s story is very believable (how much is truth and how much is fiction is something I wonder based solely on the “based on a true story” disclaimer at the beginning of the comic – I’m inclined to believe that some of the more minor details are fictionalized such as conversations, but that the essence of the comic is true).

Shadow Doctor #1 has an artistic presentation that somehow gives off a 30’s vibe whilst also looking almost like a water colour painting. The art style is absolutely perfect for the comic’s story. It looks like an old timey comic without feeling dated because Jeanty’s layouts and his panel structure juxtapose the art with a youthful energy; the combination of the old and fresh is far from jarring and pulls you right into the story’s time period better than any constant reference in the text ever could.

In another case of picking up a comic based solely on the title, I went from having no idea what to expect to finding what I’m sure is going to become a story I can’t wait to read for the third time in a few months. Shadow Doctor #1 is a really good book in every way; the art, the story… everything about the comic is remarkably engaging, and I’m excited to learn more about Nat Calloway. Aftershock have included four additional pages about the titular doctor, allowing you to get to know the man he was, even if just a little. It’s a brilliant addition to a comic that’s well worth your time.

If you’re still on the fence about this book, then I wanted to end with this line from the writer taken from the preview text “On the one hand, his story represents the promise of America. On the other hand, it shows the worst of it.”

Story: Peter Calloway Art: Georges Jeanty
Colorist: Mark Chirallo Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Aftershock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Dead Day #5

Dead Day #5 wraps up the series and continues its amazing world-building at the same time. More please!

Story: Ryan Parrot
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Color: Juancho!
Letterer: Charles Pritchett

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Kindle
comiXology
Zeus Comics

Aftershock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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