Shadowline/Image Comics 2015
Created, Written & Lettered by Ed Brisson
Created & Illustrated by Brian Level
Coloured by Jordan Boyd
What a superb ending to this story. I’m utterly infatuated with this book and these characters and it’s a real treat to see them act as real people instead of heroes who always seem to have the answers. There’s really a very intelligent approach to this series that should appeal to a wide audience. The characterization is incredible and the evolution of Jen from issue one to now is some of the best you’ll see.
Meanwhile Brian’s bringing his own level of work to this that intensifies the story. Start to finish there’s a level of detail in each panel on each page that just helps enhance what the reader sees and feels to the point that you don’t consciously realize it but it’s important. Plus the work on each character bringing them to life and giving them unique personalities is really a joy to see done this well.
Last issue we saw Jen take a few Shrooms and then have that psychedelic experience strengthen her resolve to fight the Plague was delightful. Having Shadow and Kabrah find her in the beginning of the fight and come to her aid the dialogue was just out of this world fantastic. I think during the whole thing we see this odd maturity from Jen, whether it’s because she is on mushrooms or because of the person she really is we don’t know but regardless it’s some hellaciously good writing.
Once her plan is enacted we see the Plague is vulnerable for the first time. We do get another death this issue and the team that once held CCTV lose another member. One who honestly I was looking forward to seeing more of. So the struggle is real here and every action has a consequence and that there’s no coming back from it is nice to see. Even the Plague recognizes in Jen an opponent he’s not had the pleasure of fighting in a while.
Seeing Jen’s plan come to fruition and use the powers of the Mantle showcases how much unlimited potential she has. This has been a dramatic and exciting debut of a new character ripe for exploration. There’s so much history already involved in all this that’s been shown in bits and pieces that it would be a shame for her adventures to end here.
It’s exciting when a new book comes out that you can see how much love, care and attention shines through it. In this day of creator owned projects for something to be this impressive only strengthens my belief that the best stories come from outside the “big two” and that as readers we should seek these out and support them. Plus the way the way this book ends is exciting, different and completely in character with Jen and who she has become. This makes this even more thrilling to watch.