Review: No Rest For The Wiccans In ‘Shadow Service #1’

by Malissa White

Ignorance definitely isn’t bliss in Vault’s premier issue of Shadow Service. While on a standard investigation tracking down a particularly nasty target, Gina Meyer finds herself in the crosshairs of a mysterious team who appear to have been on her trail for some time. Witchcraft doesn’t always save the day, and Gina is about to learn that the hard way.

Shadow Service #1. Cover Art by Corin Howell.

Writer Cavan Scott jumps right in with this setup issue. Gina is cast as an aloof private eye using her abilities to take down nasty men. Her own tragic past influences her decisions, but she also gets a thrill out of kicking ass. Scott adds in plenty of mid-punch quips and dry humored jokes to keep the comic light. Despite all the magic and ass-kicking, Scott establishes Gina’s consequences quickly. I look forward to seeing how they catch up with her in later issues.

Shadow Service #1. Preview Page.

My favorite character thus far is Edwin the Rat, Gina’s only friend. A fun take on the familiar trope common to witch-centered works, Edwin acts more like a concerned, if not slightly judgmental, friend than a spiritually bound pet. Considering his appearance comes around a flashback of childhood abuse, his concern is refreshing and tender and balances out Gina’s toughness.

Shadow Service #1. Preview Page.

Artist Corin Howell gives us horror fans some gory treats throughout the issue. My favorite panel is the (literal) murder of crows swarm that recalls horror classic, The Birds, and might have inspired Rebekah Isaacs and Kurt Michael Russell’s cool witchy-mod variant cover. We also get treated to a boil-ridden decapitated head and a gutted garage corpse. Triona Farrell’s colors blend witchy amethyst purple with Matrix-green, which seems to hint at budding technology meets witchcraft theme.

Shadow Service #1. Preview Page.

I’m looking forward to expanding on the world and finding more about femme fatale Aashi in Issue #2. I am hoping for a bit more background on Coyle’s ability to shapeshift from fit black man to a balding white man, however. Shadow Service #1 is written by Cavan Scott, with art by Corin Howell, colors by Triona Farrell and letters by Andworld Design. Conjure your copy on Comixology or at your local shops!

Malissa White

Malissa White is an indie comics writer, creator, producer and reviewer from Los Angeles, CA. Her works include the comic NIGHTMARE, SOUNDBOX with Kamikaze Animated's SHORT CIRCUIT Anthology, and short horror story "Vessel" with Black Women Are Scary. She interviews creators on Comics Creators Club via YouTube and her reviews can be found on The Valkyries blog. Like most 90s nerds, Malissa fell in love with comics after watching Storm on the X-Men. Since then, her mission is to bring complex WOC to the forefront of genre storytelling. When not writing, she's watching horror movies, drinking coffee, and probably on Twitter. Follow her there, or everywhere, at @Malissifent.

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