Just from seeing the Issue #1 cover of The Shadow Glass, I was intrigued by this new series from Dark Horse Comics. Featuring the art and story by Aly Fell and lettering by Nate Piekos, this six-issue series will likely delight readers that enjoy a cross pollination of action/adventure, horror, and fantasy with a healthy dose of occultism. And, if stories set in Elizabethan era London are of interest, then look no further.
While I usually commence my reviews with the narrative structure, in this instance, I will admit that I am utterly infatuated by Fell’s art style and must start there. It is what first drew me to this series, and I was very happy that I got the chance to review this first issue. Fell’s attention to detail is showcased in every fold of clothing and the fluttering of capes and curls lifted by passing breezes. Rosalind and Arabella are exquisite and beautiful women caressed by Fell’s touch. Fell does not overburden the images and finds the balance between detail, texture, and subtleties between the characters, the décor, and the English homes and landscapes. The soft and rather muted color palette seems in keeping with the exalted status of the characters and the era. Each page is laid out in a straightforward format, allowing the story and the characters to take center stage, and hence, Fell’s choices result in a pleasing visual experience. My enjoyment is enhanced by the fact that, as a former resident of Southern England, I am instantly reminded of all the historical sites I relished.
This story is laden with more text than some comic book series; however, the story in The Shadow Glass is in no way weakened. As with the art, Fell has done his homework in researching the Elizabethan era. The language is not nearly as flowery as William Shakespeare’s plays, but there are a few words and phrases that are included to provide a flavor of the times. The prose is well-written and lends to a pacing that quickens the unfolding action and lingers where pauses provide the readers a moment to catch one’s breath. Piekos rounds out the experience with concise lettering that is clean and easy to read, even in the digital format. The speech bubbles flow naturally with the action on the page and the reader’s eye, so again, the enjoyment is not impeded or obstructed, which can sometimes happen.
I do not usually look beyond the issue I’m reviewing, but I have already peeked at the upcoming covers and, oh boy, if they are any indication of what’s to come, then I’m excited. Fell has created and realized a magnificent series, and with Piekos completing the lettering, Dark Horse has another another hit. If this series isn’t on your pull list, rectify that error immediately!