Hmm not sure a school counsellor made of shadows would be especially helpful

Publisher: Image
Writer – Joe Henderson
Art & Cover – Lee Garbett
Colourist – Antonio Fabela
Letterer – Simon Bowland

We first reviewed Shadecraft #1 in our round-up podcast for March

I liked it and honestly I like it more now after a re-read. Now onto issue #2! Some spoilers. 

When we last saw Zadie, the girl with the ‘shadow’ problem she had just been saved from a monster shadow by her brother Ricky who is also a shadow, specifically her shadow. This means that issue #2 can really indulge in showing the sibling dynamic between the two which really gives a nice new dimension to proceedings. 

The banter between Zadie and Ricky really reflects the brother and sister dynamic but it lifts both characters. So far all we’ve seen of Ricky is him…being in a coma which doesn’t really endear him to us in any way as he’s unconscious. Here though we see the protective brother, the brother with a sense of humour who can make his sister laugh, the brother who was there for Zadie to help her. So now he is actually a character and a player in events. 

Not all will like the somewhat typical teenage dialogue but honestly I didn’t mind it. There are some really fun little moments as Ricky realises he and Zadie are quite literally stuck together even if she is the only one who can hear him.

Not to say there isn’t also plot development as there is. There’s a new counsellor at school who appears to be hiding something even as she lends Zadie a sympathetic ear, there’s the mystery of how to get Ricky back in his body and the continuing awkwardness with Josh. Not to mention the little heartfelt moments as Ricky asks how much of a burden he’s been on the family being stuck in a coma.

The art is great and it is especially nice to see Ricky brought to life. It’s not easy to have a shadow interact with the world around them but the art really helps make Ricky a character and not a disembodied voice. He is there at Zadie’s side and the conversations with Ricky as Zadie’s shadow are really effective. As too are the little touches where Ricky seems more substantial to Zadie than a mere shadow at certain key points where they are alone.

The other shadows too are still out there and they too are realised well, their creeping threat making an appearance later on. The night scenes still remain very effective. 

At first glance Shadecraft isn’t that deep and there is much fluff but there’s a shadowy core under there which keeps things ticking along nicely. I think this issue is an improvement on the first and I am getting invested in Zadie and Ricky. Plus the counsellor is named Angela so I am bound to want to know more about her. 

Worth checking out if you have read issue #1 and even if you weren’t sure about the first issue see if issue #2 changes your mind because for me things are getting interesting, and jokes made by shadows are hilarious.

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