Writer: Joe Henderson
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colour Artist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Shadecraft #3 really hits its stride . This book has got better every issue and issue #3 really pulls out all the stops. There’s action, there’s karate kid references, there’s emotion and family relationships and a hell of a cliffhanger ending. This is a book that feels very confident now in the story it’s telling.
When last we left Zadie she had found something off about the school counsellor. Here we find out that the school counsellor (Angela Owens – great first name) is a special agent here to track down and train extraordinary people like Zadie who have the ability to master shadows, you know, Shadecraft, (see you were wondering where the title came from).
It turns out the shadows come from Zadie and are tied to her emotions. It also means that as she’s a teenager her emotions are perhaps not the most stable so she needs help with her Shadecraft which means it’s always handy to have massive light bulbs on hand to chase those shadows away.
Seeing Zadie eventually control shadows is really fun. Not only is she figuring out her (awesome) superpower but also at the same time figuring out her own feelings. That’s a really nice parallel. The shadows aren’t just a metaphor but they act as a real insight into Zadie’s emotional state. Plus you know she’s got shadow superpowers she can master like a boss if she can master those emotions.
Also, to help is her excellent sidekick Ricky who continues to provide some really nice wisecracking humour. The relationship between them, and their sibling banter is really great and their conversations are enjoyable. There’s a nice little emotional undercurrent to them as well which is subtle but still there.
I don’t want to give away too much plot (basically Zadie fighting and beating shadows) but there’s also a really nice moment with Zadie’s Dad too. It feels like there’s some healing going on for the characters both in terms of shadows but also family.
I really don’t want to say too much to spoil the plot.
It’s just that good.
The art has always shown the shadows well and that remains true for this issue too as they really come to life. You will never see a shadow bunny in the same way again! The shadows feel real to the world. They feel tangible as if they could sneak off the page and grab you, which isn’t an easy thing to do. The interactions with Zadie are great.
I just really enjoyed this issue. It made me smile and made me gasp. I think we’re at the point now where we’re getting into what Shadecraft really is and what it’s really about. Not just in the context of the plot but also in the context of the book itself.
Honestly if you thought the first two issues were slow I urge you to read them and then this one. I think you’ll really enjoy it.
I enjoyed this issue so much I am going to say 5 shadow bunnies out of 5. Turn that lamp on and let a bit of Shadecraft out.