SHADECRAFT #1/ Script by JOE HENDERSON/ Art by LEE GARBETT/ Color Art by ANTONIO FABELA/ Letters by SIMON BOWLAND/ Alternate Cover by JOCK/ Published by IMAGE COMICS
Zadie Lu isn’t like most teenagers and her classmates make sure she knows it. Zadie is still afraid of the dark and literally scared of her own shadow. Because Zadie senses that there’s something watching her. Something that wants to kill her. Something that poses a danger to her small town. Something that only she may be able to stop. But how can you fight something you can’t see or touch? And how does Zadie’s feeling tie into her family’s history?
Built around our primal fear of the darkness and what dwells within it, this first chapter of Shadecraft goes far beyond its classic horror premise. This is to be expected given that it comes to us from the same creative team behind the Eisner-nominated series Skyward. The script by Joe Henderson (showrunner on Lucifer) does a fantastic job of quickly establishing the setting and presenting Zadie as a likeable protagonist.
The artwork by Lee Garbett is phenomenal. I’ve been a fan of Garbett’s work since the short-lived 2015 Lucifer book from Vertigo Comics, and the art here, with color completions by Garbett’s collaborator on that series, Antonio Fabela, proves to be born of a similar aesthetic and quality, dark and moody as one might expect given the title. The letters by Simon Bowland are also fantastic, with Bowland skillfully keeping the dialogue from obscuring the splashes and red-text emphasizing the jump-scares.
I’m not sure quite where this series is going after a single issue, but Henderson and Garbett have my interest; no small accomplishment given I’m not much for horror titles. Make of that assessment what you will. Perhaps horror fans will find this to be typical of the trade? Yet I think most will appreciate the originality of Shadecraft‘s execution, even if a story about the monsters in the dark is not all that original.
Shadecraft #1 releases on March 31, 2021.