Brutally Violent And Compelling: Shanghai Red #4

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Molly runs through the sewers under Portland to escape certain death from the people who shanghaied her years ago. However, the hunted turns into the hunter, as Molly begins picking off her pursuers. However, even if she escapes, Jack is being hunted across the city, and there are still more people behind this human trafficking operation.

Shanghai Red #4 cover by Joshua Hixson
Shanghai Red #4 cover by Joshua Hixson

Shanghai Red delivers another brutal issue with its fourth installment. Molly/Red/Jack continues to take brutal revenge against the men who kidnapped her with knives, guns, wires, and iron knuckles.

It’s a fast-moving and violent comic, and the walls continue to close in around Molly. She hasn’t been exercising discretion in her hits, and it seems like she is on a death drive.

We meet another figure in the criminal underworld of Portland: a man named Sullivan. He’s a cruel but cool-headed boss, and his showdown with Molly is among the highlights of the comic.

There is still a softer moment when Molly meets with Katie again. Katie tries to get through to her sister even in this current bloodbath.

There’s an interesting moment with a Chinese conclave and opium den underneath Portland that makes for an unnerving but compelling scene of its own.

Shanghai Red #4 art by Joshua Hixson and Roman Stevens
Shanghai Red #4 art by Joshua Hixson and Roman Stevens

Joshua Hixson once again handles the art and color work (the latter alongside color flatter Roman Stevens) with Shanghai Red #4. The violence is presented well and given due gravitas. Shadow is used in abundance and skillfully to set the stage and establish atmosphere. Action is impactful and kinetic. The color work is cold and ominous throughout. This is a good-looking book.

Shanghai Red #4 is another success on the part of Christopher Sebela and Joshua Hixson. The book is compelling, violent, and exciting, the softer moments are emotional and feel human, and the artwork brings all of it to life in a visually engaging manner. This comic is a great read and well worth a recommendation.

Shanghai Red #4 comes to us from writer Christopher Sebela, artist Joshua Hixson, color flatter Roman Stevens, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, cover artist Hixson, and variant cover artist Chris Visions.

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