Paranormal. Medieval Europe. Cool cover with Cthulhu-like tentacles writhing about. Sure, I’ll read that! It has all the earmarks of being right up my alley. I wanted to say it’s my “jam” but I feel like that would have been a bit too cheesy. And with that particular choice of verbiage, it seems time to segue into presenting you with my thoughts on The Shadow Glass #1.
Not only is it set in sixteenth century London, but our story also features a female protagonist who would have been almost an anomaly in that time period. Possessing an independent streak and unmindful of her apparent unwillingness to conform to her own society, Rosalind Larkspur stands out in any crowd. Beautiful on the outside and determined on the inside, she returns home from her studies to find her father in poor health.
Her education is paramount to her aging father but he chides her for her lack of discipline. He also feels the need to reveal a few secrets that alter her perception of him and her entire world. Dumbfounded, Rose tries to deny it all but her father is insistent that she understand as his time may be short with her. Fleeing back to her mentor, she finds herself face to face with the very thing of which her father warned her.
I love the concept of the story. Aly Fell really tried to bring a wonderfully dark tale to life. In many ways he succeeded, but in others…not so much. I was impressed by the brazen ways of our main character, her total disregard for society’s rules. But there are times when she seems to lose that inner will and turns into an almost simpering preteen. Her brusque but loving father seems less concerned for her feelings than in telling her what she must not do at all costs. While this was necessary for plot purposes, it felt disjointed and I lost my sense of wonder with the unnatural dialogue. Which was a shame since the artwork is phenomenal, with particular emphasis on the well drawn faces and natural poses. Fell did everything except the lettering, if I read correctly.
There is so much potential in this issue that I’ll keep my eyes open for the next issue, as I am engaged with the plot itself. I just hope that future installments are smoother and less terse in the discourse between characters. But overall, I’d give it a thumbs up. It may not be a home run but it certainly has a lot going for it. Give it a shot, folks. It might be just what you’re looking for today!