End of the arc

Publisher: Vault
Writer – Cavan Scott
Artist – Corin Howell
Colourist – Triona Farrell
Letterer – Andworld design

So, here we are in the final issue of this first arc of Shadow Service. There’s action, danger and death. Not everyone makes it out okay and yes I was very saddened by the heroic death of one of the characters who finally came good. I am not going to spoil the ultimate fates of the characters but needless to say my heart was in my mouth several times because it was a close run thing.

When last we left our heroes they were faced with a literal bombshell from villain Yastrik. There was a literal bomb in London about to explode. Now Gina, Aashi, Coyle (and Eddie) are trying to find the the bomb before it’s too late. Hex is torturing Quill because Yastrik is currently possessing him and that’s the only way to try to get her to talk. Quill has really not had a good ride so far and, well, it’s going to get worse.

I don’t want to spoil the plot too much (this is a book that really does benefit you going in spoiler free) but they find the bomb. There’s a cool use of a glamour and then well sort of hell breaks loose. The setting and people involved actually amused me, at the very least warranted a few knowing smiles and a chuckle. That’s what really helps this book the fact that even with some really hardcore dramatic stuff there’s a hint of humour running through. You do need that as this is a pretty dark and gory issue (in the best ways of course).

At the same time the characters and plot have some real strong depth. The way that the focus has been shifted between characters has really helped. None of the main characters feel too lightly sketched. We’ve got to know them pretty well by now, even though there are still some tantalising possibilities to explore more in their past.

I had not guessed how things were going to end. That’s what I love about Shadow Service, you never quite know how things are going to go. It’s that element of surprise that I’ve really enjoyed. Of course not all the surprises are what you would have hoped for as you get so attached to these characters, yet I really appreciate the plotting work.

I also really appreciate the art. The depiction of the supernatural has always been done really well and this final issue of the first arc keeps that quality up. The supernatural looks scary but there’ also this magical element that’s really nicely conveyed through the art, the way the panels depict the action and the colouring really support it too. It has a very definite style which perfectly fit the story that’s being told here which is great. Each character is very distinct and that’s true in the art as well as the writing. Especially with Gina who has all those different aspects to her magic wise. Her power is sometimes almost physically tangible.

Plus the lettering I still love. Yastrik’s speech really stands out but so too do Edwin’s little comments and of course Gina’s magic words. It’s just nicely done.

There’s still plenty of questions left at the end of this arc. We don’t get any answers really. especially with regard to Gina and the central mystery of her being ‘a unique case’. I am not too upset we don’t get all the answers because that just means we will have to get more Shadow Service in the future. I am not ready to let MI666 go yet so I am glad to see Shadow Service will return. I can’t wait.

If you have not picked up Shadow Service previously with the first arc complete it’s a perfect time. Delve into the world of MI666. You’ll enjoy it.

Five talking rats out of five.

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