And Then I Read: SHADOWPACT 16-18

Shadowpact 16 cover
©DC Comics, Inc.

Magic hats off to DC for allowing the logo on issue 16 to be flopped (reading backward) for that issue. Great idea for Zatanna, who speaks her spells backwards, and it shows the strength of the logo that it still reads okay to me. In fact, for a new reader, it might just be intriguing enough to make a sale.

I’m continuing to enjoy this team book using some of DC’s odder characters. Issue 16 is a satisfying conclusion to the cliffhanger from 15, with a volcano erupting in the middle of Chicago. Continuing character plotlines with Blue Devil and Zauriel are coming along well, too.

Shadowpact 17 page

Issue 17 begins a new storyline, and the art is quite a change of pace: painted by Doug Braithwaite in the style of Alex Ross, who Doug has been working with in recent years on JUSTICE. This is the first time I’ve seen Doug do painted art over his pencils, though, and the results are mixed. He doesn’t handle some details as well as Alex, particularly the faces, but overall it’s not a bad look. I expect if he continues in this direction, he’ll improve, as I know Doug has the artistic chops. His pencilling skills are top notch. Painting is a separate discipline, though, and I think he needs to work at that.

Issue 18 is back to the usual line-art style of Derenick and Faucher, who do a fine if unspectactular job of telling the story. At times I find the coloring on their issues distracting, as it seems to be over-rendered, especially on the faces, breaking them up into too many different color areas. A simpler approach would work better for me.

It all comes together well enough to be a good read, though, and I’ll certainly be staying with the title. The plotlines Matt Sturges and Bill Willingham are cooking with create a savory stew!

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