Shadowline/Image Comics 2019
by John Upchurch
The werewolves are back. A group of would-be hunters set out to enlist Lucy’s help, but they soon realize that she’s a shadow of her former self and may not be up to the task. If only there was a secret power Lucy could tap into…if only.
I really do like this book and the whole concept behind it and it's easy to see where John's own redemption for what he's done in the past comes into play here as well. This is the way he's able to express what he went through, have be therapeutic to his recovery and acknowledge that he messed up. In some ways it's an apology in others just saying he knows what he did and this is how he hopes to regain his life and the trust in folks that he broke. Which is more than the likes of some high profile sports figures. Anyway that's all I am saying on the subject.
I love this cast of characters and I think that's because the John is writing this has the right kind of honest feel to it. Sunshine is not happy, never meet your idols, and doesn't have a problem showing it. This is far from a feel good, everyone gets along kind of story and I have to say that it's more refreshing to see honest reactions happening before our eyes. So yeah the level of writing here is so extremely impressive and I am glad that John found his voice again and a place to he can call home and tell the stories that mean something to him and by extension us.
The story & plot development that we see here through how the sequence of events unfold and how the reader learns information is really well rendered. We are starting to see more writers keep the reader in the dark until something happens and then the reader learns alongside the characters. It is the best way to write in my humble opinion and helps build up the tension and intrigue factor to new levels. The character development is absolutely phenomenal. The characters personalities are able to shine through and whether they speak a lot or a little we still get a sense for who they are. And as they encounter new circumstances and situations we still see them grow and evolve. The pacing we see is strong and steady as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way is really interesting. The overall structure of the book and how everything combines to create such a superb ebb & flow to the book.
God these interiors are so beautifully done. The linework is stupendous and how we see the varying weights being utilised to bring about this level and quality of attention to detail is amazing. I will be among those that say computer generated work is usually immediately identifiable. It also has to be done impeccably for me to enjoy it. That being said this is impeccably done. What we see here is truly astonishing and John doesn't try to use tricks it's straight up what we would expect to see if it were hand drawn, right down to a case of camel toe. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this stellar eye for storytelling. Also the way backgrounds are utilised or shown blurred so the eye's focal is definitely seen and how they work within the composition inside the panels do a marvellous job with depth perception, scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the book. The colour work is gorgeous. While I would like to see more gradation effects, this is the medium for that to look amazing. Still I love how the hues and tones within the colours create the shading, highlights and shadow work.
Oh this is a story about finding yourself again, learning to trust yourself and putting your faith in those around you. All the while trying to stay alive as you fight the resurgence of Werewolves. There's a mystery going on right here and we're starting to see it unfold as the attacks get less random and more in your face specific and now can the werewolves keep Lucy busy and distracted from their plans? Time will tell my friends and I'll be here every single time to find out what happens next, because I have to doth my cap to a man who can do the entire book himself.