ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Shadow Service,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shadow Service #1

Shadow Service #1 is published by Vault Comics, written by Cavan Scott, art by Corin Howell, colors by Tríona Tree Farrell, and letters by Andworld Design. Shadow Service tells the story of Gina Meyer, a private detective that operates in the heart of London. Gina is good at her job, a job that is all based on uncovering secrets, of which Gina has a few of her own.

Shadow Service #1 follows the seedy, and supernatural affairs happening in London. As the issue unfolds you are welcomed into the strange world of Gina’s investigative work. A world in which her best friend is a literal street rat, there are men with melting faces, and witchcraft is real. Be prepared for a bizarre journey into the realm of the obscure and unexplainable!

It is pretty clear that Scott revels the chance to play in this demented toy box. If you’re a fan of paranormal investigation such as Buffy, or Supernatural, this series will be right down your street!

Scott’s introduction into the issue starts as you’d expect given the nature of the story, Gina in the middle of investigation. Gina’s suspect however, has escaped her, and she must call on the help of her only friend, a rat. This abnormal turn of events took me by surprise but, also brought me immense joy. It’s the way Scott presents the interaction as normal, as if this friendship has been in place for years. It is an extremely bizarre sequence, but I need to see more of these two investigating cases.

This was around the time of the issue I felt myself sink in deeper into the story, and I remember thinking, ok, this is going to be weird, you’ve got my attention. The tone of the story from here on out gets darker, and more serious as more elements of the occult are woven into the plot. The ending will leave you with questions, and an urge of curiosity as to where Scott is taking this in issue two.

Howell’s art is extremely complimentary to the plot. This is especially highlighted in the moments of flashbacks to Gina’s childhood when she first confronts her abusive Father. A confusing moment, that captures the frightening secret of Gina Meyer. Then again when Gina hunts down a suspect leading to his place of residence. Therein lies a flayed corpse, lacking any internal organs with the skin on the corpse peeled back. It’s an absolutely revolting image, and what follows only continues to increase that gruesome feeling.

Given what is visually on show for issue 1, I am excited to see what Howell has in store for us moving forward in the series.

Shadow Service #1

Farrell’s colors serve to elevate the vision that Howell has captured in this comic through their art. Farrell leans into a specific color palette during Shadow Service, and it really sets the tone so, and encapsulates the themes set by Scott. During the more otherworldly moments, there is a heavy use of purple gradients. Where the moments of violence, and aggression, Farrel opts for shades of red. Both examples help add to the paranormal theme.

The lettering from Andworld Design is effective, and well implemented. There is a scene when a suspect is attacked by a flock of crows, and over the span of three panels the onomatopoeia of the crows screeching increasingly grows. The dialogue is well placed, and keeps the pace of the story.

Overall, this was a brilliant start to a brand new property. Scott seems to be having so much fun by delving deep into the caverns of this story line. As a paranormal investigation series, with dark, and ominous art, this ticks a lot of brilliant boxes. You won’t want to miss this disturbing first issue, so make sure to add issue #1 to your pull list!

Shadow Service #1 will be available in comics shops on August 19th, 2020.


Shadow Service #1
4

TL;DR

Overall, this was a brilliant start to a brand new property. Scott seems to be having so much fun by delving deep into the caverns of this story line. As a paranormal investigation series, with dark, and ominous art, this ticks a lot of brilliant boxes. You won’t want to miss this disturbing first issue, so make sure to add issue #1 to your pull list!