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"Shadow Service #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Vault Comics


Written by Cavan Scott
Illustrated by Corin Howell
Lettered by Triona Farrell
Lettered by AndWorld Design
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 19th, 2020


Do we need another supernatural private detective comic? Absolutely. Shadow Service joins a long line of stories in this fun sub-genre, but not without its own twists. It centers on Gina Meyers, a witch with some unpredictable powers that help her track down everything from cheating husbands to missing persons. She was doing fine – or as close to fine as a typical private eye with no money can – until something sinister took notice. Now she's in over her head.

Shadow Service wastes no time introducing us to Gina and this world. We instantly understand the types of cases she takes on and how well she handles them...or at least gets by. Colorist Triona Farrell does some great work blending the noir aspects of Gina's life as a detective with the horror elements of where her investigations take her. We go from dark alleyways full of shadows to various shades of red that come with terrifying bloodshed.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Corin Howell pencils are disturbing to say the least. Immediately after reading this comic, I wanted to take a shower. That feeling came up after a scene featuring a guy with melting skin. Oh man, it's so gross. Howell makes it look almost liquid on the man's frame.

This is just part of the fun in Shadow Service. It's a taste of what is to come. Howell ups the ante by the end of this issue, leaning into the unnatural elements at play and showing what these powers are truly capable of in some rather disturbing images.

All the while, Gina is this constant presence. She appears normal, despite what she's capable of. This helps us identify with her as our protagonist, seeing the world through her eyes. Writer Cavan Scott gives us a good idea of her personality. She's serious with a pinch of quirkiness and always ready to do what's right...even if that puts her in imminent danger.

Click images to enlarge

Letterer AndWorld Design differentiates Gina's witch abilities with a unique font so we know when she throws out a spell. There's some gravity to this. The words pop on the page, letting you know she means business.

Shadow Service stands tall next to the likes of Criminal Macabre and Hellblazer in the world of supernatural detectives while still putting its own spin on it to stand apart. We're just scratching the surface of this world, full of potential and I cannot wait to see more.


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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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