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"Shadecraft #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics


Written by Joe Henderson
Illustrated by Lee Garbett
Colored by Antonio Fabela
Lettered by Simon Bowland
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 28th, 2021


Zadie had a unique set of problems as a high school student. She was already the weird awkward kid, but now she's the weird awkward kid with a brother in a coma. To make matters worse, shadows seem to be chasing her. Fortunately, her brother, Ricky, is there to help as a shadow person himself, leading to an interesting brother / sister bonding.

Shadecraft may pull you in with this great premise, but it will hold onto you with its solid character work. The relationship between Zadie and Ricky is natural. They bicker like siblings do, even if one of them is a shadow being, but there's love there. They care about each other. Writer Joe Henderson puts in the work to make us care about these characters, so when they're put in danger, the scares are much larger.

This issue digs into the background of Ricky's accident that put him into the coma, although the origin of the shadow creatures is still shrouded in mystery. That's fine, as the foundation is being laid here. Henderson drops more than enough information to grab our attention with some surprising twists and turns. The introduction of a new guidance counselor is a key part of that, as I have to wonder how she's connected to all this.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Lee Garbett's depiction of Ricky and the shadow beings is fantastic. I love how Ricky appears monstrous at first, like a swirling pool of black smoke, but you can see his calm face through it. You almost have to squint at times, but you know that the brother Zadie cares about is stuck in this thing.

There are some laugh-out-loud moments as Ricky finds out he's linked to Zadie as her shadow. It's a bit like Peter Pan in this regard, as he pulls some gags to try to make her crack up, like putting antlers on someone or making their shadow look like a horse's ass. This plays into the brother / sister setup well.

Garbett plays up the emotion in each character. There are moments where Zadie is biting her lip, showing her uncertainty as to what to do next that speak volumes. The scenes with her and Ricky catching up are equal parts warm and heartbreaking, as they realize what they've been missing during Ricky's time in a coma. Letterer Simon Bowland delivers the dialogue in a poignant fashion, giving it the weight it deserves while keeping that sibling mentality going.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Antonio Fabela strikes a nice balance between the ominous darkness of the shadows and the bright light of the day. Most of Shadecraft #2 takes place during an otherwise typical day at high school. The lights are shining and people are going about their business, however Zadie has this sense of dread about her.

Shadecraft continues to pull me in with this chapter, further developing the characters and this world. Under other circumstances, I would want more answers by this point, but the way this comic has been laid out so far has definitely delivered. It's seeding in just the right amount of information to keep me intrigued and coming back for more. Shadecraft is off to a brilliant start.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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