Shadecraft #1 is a spooky start to a new series published by Image Comics. Written by Joe Henderson, art by Lee Garbett, colors by Antonio Fabela, and letters by Simon Bowland. The story follows a young woman named Zadie who is juggling social awkwardness with her own shadow trying to kill her.
This issue brings us right into Zadie’s life and catches us up to speed. She is in high school and does not have the best social life, topped with her brother at home, who is in a coma from a car accident. Her wild unpopularity mixed with the polarizing title of ‘The coma kid’s sister’ has left her with only two real friends. After an awkward first kiss between her and her only guy friend, Zadie notices the shadows around her acting strange.
The shadows around Zadie begin lunging and attacking her when she is walking home. They tower over her in a dreadful form in her driveway and have begun reaching out at her in the hallways at school. Zadie cannot seem to convince her friends, or even herself that this is real. She fully believes she’s gone insane when she can hear one of the shadows talking to her, except it’s telling her to run.
Shadecraft #1 blends suspense and thrill into what almost feels like a slice-of-life story, maintaining intrigue in both aspects while the story progresses. In 25 short pages, Henderson crafts a story and motive that are developed in a way that does not feel rushed. The world-building, relationship archetypes, and personalities of each character are incredibly real and believable. Zadie offers the home and school insight, delivering flashbacks to my own awkward interactions. Her home life and relationship with her family already give us the impression that her brother’s coma has put tremendous stress on all of them. The issue also manages to pull off a mysterious reveal on the last page that sincerely caught me off guard.
Garbett’s art is a dream come true for a story like this. I would like to focus first on the atmosphere during intense moments, where the art is distressed as the shadows consume the pages aggressively and how well they contrast the calm moments at school or at home where Garbett’s artwork gets skyrocketed to the next level with Fabella’s colors. The warm, soft colors protect the pages from the textured gloom in the shadows and outside world. Seeing as how this story is focused on shade and shadows, the art and colors balance surrounding moments brilliantly.
The cherry on top of this story is the lettering from Simon Bowland. The letters deliver the story without interrupting the scenes or pivotal moments of the first issue. Bowland combines style and precision with this issue’s lettering without going overboard.
After reading this Shadecraft #1 a few times, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I think this story has tremendous potential to be a suspenseful thriller as well as personal drama revolving around a character that is all too relatable as ‘Crazy Zadie.’ I will absolutely be keeping up with this story and recommending it to everyone along the way.
Shadecraft #1 is available now wherever comics are sold now.
After reading this issue a few times, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I think this story has tremendous potential to be a suspenseful thriller as well as personal drama revolving around a character that is all too relatable as ‘Crazy Zadie.’ I will absolutely be keeping up with this story and recommending it to everyone along the way.