Written by: Aly Fell
Art by: Aly Fell and Nate Piekos
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 23, 2016
Publisher: Dark Horse
This is another Just for the Hell of it Mondays review and I say it every time, but this is why we set up this day in the first place. I love DC Comics and all (well, maybe not all) of their books, but they fall along a pretty confined space of the comic book landscape. That space does not include any sort of historical fiction or fantasy and that's what drew me to this book. In fact, it was mainly the cover that did it for me and while I am not a "judge a book by it's cover" type of guy, I'm glad it caught my eye. So, did Monday's moratorium on our DC only policy lead me to another gem? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a prologue that gives us a good idea of the setting and introduces the reader to some of the major players. This whole part jumps ahead without explaining much and that's a plus and a minus in my book. It does set up an intriguing mystery full of dark ritual and deceit, but I have to admit that I was a bit confused when it came to the characters involved and had to page back and forth before I could get my head around what was going on. However, once I was up to speed, I was even more intrigued with what was going on...on and below the surface.
We then jump twenty years ahead and are introduced to the main character, Rosalind. I haven't mentioned it yet, but this book is definitely a character driven piece and Aly Fell has picked a great lead in that respect. Rosalind is a loner, a rebel...and just happens to be the daughter of two of the characters from the prologue. The problem is, her father isn't the man she thought he was and that's what pushes the story forward.
Like I said, Fell works double time in giving us a likeable lead in Rosalind. It's easy to see the ties between her and a character like Luke Skywalker (or maybe Rey)...a free spirit looking for something bigger in life while being sheltered away from her evil father. That's a big claim for such a low key issue, but there is that certain something, an excitement, brewing under the surface that makes me want to see more.
The issue continues with Rosalind's life being torn apart by a couple of bitter truths (both concerning "fathers") which leads her to seek out the truth. I'm sure it will end up in a classic "if you seek the truth, you may unfortunately find it" type of situations, because the issue ends with our young protagonist in the right place at some sort of time that is yet to be determined.
From start to finish, this issue is steeped in mystery, secrets and the dark arts. Fell really doesn't give us any answers, but instead uses this issue to introduce his characters, both good and bad and lets them go about their business. Because of that, we do get a better understanding of the characters, but not much of the story is revealed. Even so, I found myself intrigued and wanting more. Because of that, ff you like your stories laid out for you and/or hate books with heavy exposition, you may not enjoy this issue as much as I did.
Aly Fell works double duty as writer and artist and the art is where he really shines. I already mentioned how much I liked the cover and the interior art is just as impressive. His art really sells the time period and his character models really sells the fact that this is a character driven story. He nails home the emotions and attitudes of each character through his art and it's a huge reason why you fall in love with Rosalind before she even utters a word.
Bits and Pieces:
The Shadow Glass #1 is a exposition heavy, character driven story that readers will love or hate depending on what they want out of a comic. There is little to no action and the story is still a mystery, but if you like fleshed out characters and awesome art, give this book a try. I'm glad I did.