Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Leila Del Duca
Happy Birthday Joe Keatinge. Thanks for our present.
“Shutter #3″ is an astounding setup issue. A few big events are followed up on, but the majority of the book fills in past holes while establishing a future for our heroine. Ignore anyone saying that “the story isn’t pushed forward”, because in a world this big, there needs to be a strong explanatory volume that illuminates what everything is about. This is that volume. Packed with snappy dialogue, a veritable explosion of brilliantly bizarre characters, and a finale that ups the ante, Shutter is taking the next step.
The “cliffhanger of imminent doom” from the previous issue is lightly filled out and followed up on. This is definitely the drama highlight for our story this month. A bit of characterization goes a long way in helping readers to root for Kate, but it’s also nice to get a little back-story on Alain as well. Following the middle panels, it’s hard not to imagine their friendship growing and taking a different shape in the future. Keatinge has proven so far to be able to deftly handle nuanced drama with large scale action scenes. Each bit of dialogue is tinged with sarcasm and relatable, resulting in a few first-rate conversations between both human and animal characters.
Kate, who might have came off as a demure or drab leading lady previously, gets to showcase a range of emotions this time around. She’s really blossoming into a fascinating main character, and one hopes that Keatinge will continue the trend of her growth. Her Steamboat-Willie-inspired cat gets more screen time as well, and is mostly played for humor. But since Shutter is so well-written, it’s hard to find any faults in the creative decisions. The last third of the book really excels at getting us excited for big things to come. And rest assured, they are indeed coming. If the perfect final page is any indication, expect issue #4 to hit the ground running. It’s can’t-take-your-eyes-away excellence, and the plan to shift the series setting is a successful one.
Leila Del Duca, ever the fastidious artist, draws each outlandish panel with painstaking detail and clarity. There are so many different things happening that it would be easy to skip the small stuff, but she’s in tune with the series minutiae. It’s a book meant to be read closely, because many panels contain entire extra scenes or characters. She’s at her best when the splash pages hit, drool-worthy in their grandeur. There’s no way a story of this nature could survive without amazing visuals. Thankfully, it’s in perfect hands.
The Little Things: (A new list of Shutter goodness that will accompany each new review. Spoiler-ish, so come back after reading and nod along.)
- Massive bomb gun that requires just one pull? Only in Shutter (or Joe Keatinge’s head)
- “Thragga-Bra-Dramm”! Folks, Mr. Ed Brisson.
- Unheard conversations set as blank chat bubbles. Another brilliant conception.
- Everything in the background during that train scene
- The Butler. ‘Nuff Said.
Yes, the third issue doesn’t push our narrative forward in leaps and bounds. But with exposition this strong, why the need? Shutter understands that in order to have a mind-blowing fantasy world, one needs to be created first. It’s happening slowly, but that bodes well for when the true action really hits. Keatinge and Del Duca are already becoming a favorite pairing. One wouldn’t work without the other. Eventually, there will come a time when Shutter won’t need to be compared to other groundbreaking series. That moment is fast approaching. Highest Recommendation.
“Shutter #3″ earns a 9.5/10