The Shadow Glass
Written by Aly Fell
Art by Aly Fell
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 4, 2017
Cover Price: $19.99
I remember when I reviewed the first issue of this series, back in March. I found the premiere issue to be both entertaining and intriguing. Now, after seeing the first six issues brought together in this graphic novel, nothing has changed in my mind. The Shadow Glass is one of my favorite comics of 2016.
Centered on a magic artifact and a young female protagonist named Rosalind Larkspur, our tale is one as old as time itself, one of innocence and naiveté of youth combined with deceit, betrayal, and manipulation. As Rosalind quickly learns, where magic and power are concerned, there are few people who can be trusted. Even those with familial ties will turn when circumstances allow, blood is not always as binding for some as it should be.
The story delves lightly into the past several times, allowing the reader a brief glimpse of what caused the events currently taking place in sixteenth century England. It is a time of mysticism and charlatanism, rooted ever so lightly in what passed for science in those times. An interesting point here is that while the main character is in fact fictional, several of the others such as John Dee and Edward Kelley are not. This blending of history and fantasy makes for a far more grounded story, considering how accurately they are portrayed for the sake of this tale.
Working both as author and artist, Aly Fell does a splendid job of bringing his comic to life. The artwork is astounding, constantly causing me to linger on a panel before moving forward with the story. Not that it’s distracting, just that he creates such alluring scenes and characters that the reader is enthralled momentarily. There are times when the dialogue gets heavy or twisted but it seems almost fitting considering how the language of that time was flourishing and morphing into what we consider English today.
You cannot possibly be disappointed with this comic if you have any love for period pieces mixed with a light touch of Lovecraftian magic. And while the story does have a twist that results in not everyone living happily ever after, I think that it only adds to the mystique of the book. I know he has a second series planned but it is currently unknown as to when he will be able to work on it. But fear not, I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, don’t fail to get this before it sells out.