by Angela Cainen

Spoiler Alert: this involves motorcycles

Written by: Cavan Scott
Art by: Corin Howell
Colouring by: Triona Farrel
Lettering by: Andworld Design

You will need to have familiarised yourself with the first five issues of Shadow Service before you read #6 and I do recommend it. Shadow Service is a good book so go forth and catch up.

From here on out I am going to assume you are familiar with the story and characters up to this point. So you know those pesky things called spoilers.

When we left our characters Gina had spirited Quinn away and poor Edwin was captured (and was not as it turned out a rat but a human of sorts with a history with Hex). However, that’s not where we pick up this story because it’s time to get the origin of one of the other members of section 26 – Aashi.

We’ve already had Coyle’s backstory and plenty of Gina’s so most of this issue devotes itself to how Aashi ended up where she is, and why she is the way she is. If you like the odd Harry Potter reference there’s something here for you. Aashi came across as something of a hardass in previous issues but here we see why and really it’s interesting. I have more sympathy for her now and even though I probably won’t ever be her biggest fan, I think she’s a well written character and she had been lacking in depth a bit before this. I certainly like her more than I did.

Not to say we don’t have bits of plot too. They are nicely weaved in as we get Aashi’s point of view for this issue. We weave in and out of the plot and her backstory and the two elements mesh nicely together. I am never left thinking one or the other has been short changed.

The art and colouring takes on another aspect with Aashi’s flashbacks which it’s not a spoiler to say are set in Afghanistan. The violence and landscape are rendered very well. As are the chase scenes, where Aashi and Coyle track Gina and Quinn in Italy. There’s real movement with Aashi on a motorcycle pursuing Gina and Quinn and it segues well into the flashback art. It feels tense and breathless like a chase should. The humour is also still there. There’s some lovely background stuff going on during the chase scene.

The world is expanded out further with more than just regular people chasing Gina and Quinn. Poor Gina is suffering as her excessive use of magic of late has left her exhausted. How is she going to cope with any confrontation coming up? She’s too weak to use physical skills or magic.

This issue was really well done. I very much appreciated the insight into Aashi’s backstory and character. Solid art and solid plot. I still have questions and still want to see where this ends up but #6 is a nice bit of character work whilst not dropping the main plot.

I give it 4 flashbacks out of 5.

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