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Monday, October 10, 2016

Thirteen Shadows. Devin Theobold (Writer), Joseba Morales (Art) WP Comics (2016)

A very engaging and enjoyable superhero story that solves the problems of story set up and super-heroics with flair and very smart story telling. The impact that superhero Chelsea Shadows has on the city is dramatic and credible. The fallout from that impact is much less predictable and is superbly presented by Devin Theobold. There is a sequence where Chelsea Shadows is introduced via an action sequence that is thoughtful and very sharp and the villain makes his first public move.
Any first issue has a difficult task to accomplish, introduce the cast and the story with sufficient information and momentum to capture the reader for the ongoing story. A superhero story has an additional difficulty as the superhero has to be introduced, they demonstrate what makes them super and most critically they are given a genuine problem to solve that will test them and their powers.
Thirteen Shadows delivers on all counts  in a genuinely surprising way that also manages to resolve one of the perennial problems of superhero comics, how to balance a credible human context with a superhero. From the opening panel Devin Theobold shows how to do it with masterful ease, the story flows strongly from the opening and gains depth and force as it goes. Chelsea Shadows is given an opportunity to demonstrate her powers and prove that she is serious and smart. More importantly the villain is given a believable motive, enough brains and angry willpower to actually be a problem to Chelsea Shadows.
Joseba Morales's art is as low key and slightly dark as the story, it brings out the nuances and atmosphere of the story naturally and effectively.  The panels are used to control the flow of the story really well and to frame the action. The cast are individual and expressive, the action is powerful and to the point. The colour are as dark as they need to be, this is very from the sunny uplands of super heroics while never becoming needlessly grim and gritty. The story context is used brilliantly and the art captures the developing consequences for the cast.
The lettering is subtle and natural, it never distracts fron the art or the story, the sound effects are used to emphasise the action, they never distract from it.
This is a seriously good superhero comic, a very smart direction that opens great story possibilities.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts, to purchase a copy of Thirteen Shadows, you should to see just how good superhero stories can be, you can get it here

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