AWA Upshot 2020
Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Brent Schoonover
Coloured by Nick Filardi
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
Shannon Harrow, an elite military veteran with skeletons in her closet and a dark family secret, embarks on a quest to hunt down the serial killer that brutally murdered her father – only to discover that he is just one piece of a national network of evil that snakes across the country and hides in plain sight. To catch the Devil, Harrow must first embrace and unleash the darkness within.
This book just keeps getting better with each issue. I mean c’mon now a brutal highway filled with human trafficking and just some bad, bad peopole running things and all of it illegal as hell. Of course that’s the appeal for this book as well and I am by no means complaining about that. All I know is that I feel these guys are knocking this outta the park here and creating something that is incredibly powerful in storytelling that doesn’t require powers but is horrific enough that this could be ripped out of today’s headlines.
The way that this is being told is pretty damn brilliant. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is laid out beautifully. I am so loving how we see the character going through their own way of doing things so that it adds these interesting and somewhat unexpected moments that stick with you. It doesn’t get much better than that as it keeps your mind engaged in the story and it’s crazy how long it’ll stick with you after you’ve read it. The character development is phenomenal and as we see them have conversations and act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter fleshing them even out further. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way it’s easy to see how everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
I like the way that this is structured and how we see the layering within the story add that depth and diversity to the going ons. We really do get to see some truly extraordinary moments that we wouldn’t be able to see without them and at first some seem a little arbitrary but you know what they turn out to be great examples for the overall story.
The interiors here are bloody gorgeous! The linework we see and the varying weights and techniques that are utilised are so damn good! How they are utilised to create the attention to detail we see, this includes the colour work as well, and that it is so well rendered it is just stunning to behold. How we see backgrounds with just as much detail work not only enhance the moments but bring us some great depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. I mean that panel in Minneapolis is great for all of that in one fell swoop. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show an insanely talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is divine and how we see the various hues and tones within any given colour being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows someone who understands how colour works. The imagery here is phenomenal and it just makes me incredibly happy.
This story epitomises why this publishing house has quickly risen through the ranks to become a premiere publisher for me. The strength of the storytelling and the quality of the artwork we see shows us an insane level of talent all around.