Written by: Joe Keatinge
Publisher: Image Comics
In its zany and splendiferous way this issue is exactly what Shutter has been growing towards for months now. And it’s replete with knife-wielding anthropomorphic assassins, a talking robot cat, fratricide, and a knife-wielding anthropomorphic assassin riding a triceratops on a mission of fratricide. At times “Shutter #6” can seem a little over-the-top. But it never devolves totally into camp and remains a grounded piece of science-fiction in its own way. Leila Del Duca provides another gorgeous comic for your eyeballs and though a few panels look a tad rushed the result is a great comic book that is an appropriate herald of this series reaching a significant milestone.
“Shutter #6” is certainly the action pay-off some readers have been waiting for, and while the climax is exciting, full of anxiety, and looks excellent, the characters really shine. The characters seem to grow and evolve as the book progresses, and hopefully Keatinge and Duca can continue this strength when the book returns in December. Oddly enough it isn’t our protagonist Kate who really benefits from the character work in this issue, but her younger brother. Either way, getting readers to attach themselves to characters is a sure-fire way to help a comic succeed.
The final page cliff-hanger was an interesting direction because it served up easily the best visual feast of the entire issue, but as a plot device it wasn’t as compelling as I would have thought. We simply weren’t given enough information to really process what was happening on that last page to appreciate what may or may not happen next. I’ll admit I wasn’t banking on that splash page to hook me for the next arc—I am already totally invested in this series. Still, it wasn’t what I was expecting and not necessarily in a good way.
This series has been my introduction to the artistic stylings of Leila Del Duca, and as a comic reader and critic, I’m richer for the experience. Her style is unique and her voice is her own. While there are many artists that you can easily point to their mentors or someone they’ve emulated, Del Duca isn’t easy to pin down. Her characters are wide-eyed and lovable and this series provides plenty of license to be creative with character designs and what appears on a panel together. The wit and charm of the dialogue is mirrored by Del Duca’s art. Again we find ourselves with an Image book with a writer-artist pairing that seems like it couldn’t be more ideal. Each creator handles the burden of story-telling together and, visually, Del Duca rarely misses a beat.
This is the kind of comic that makes independent, creator-owned series the best in the market today. Corporate comics would find it impossible to handle this much creativity, this much crazy, in one series, and yet Shutter does it with style. Keatinge is a writer who understands what makes his characters interesting and whose imagination makes the book a joy to look at, because Del Duca’s rendering of the script is pure magic. This is a series that deserves to stick around for a while: a long, long while.
“Shutter #6” earns 8.1/10