Monday, May 9, 2016

Graphic novel review: SHADOWSIX Issue #1 (Liam Anthony) by Dave Wolff

Story by Liam Anthony
Artwork by Anne Morrison
Cover by Zachary Smith-Cameron
Zerstor Comics
You may remember when Liam Anthony appeared in AEA as editor/publisher of The Fallout Magazine (which spotlighted Australian extreme metal) and drummer of the Australian thrash band Malakyte. One of Liam’s latest projects is the first chapter of an ongoing graphic novel series based on an original story conceptualized by him. The interview in which he discusses it and the Dampman comic he is working on, along with his new bands Elkenwood and Dragonsmead, can be read elsewhere on this blog. The Shadowsix are a group of vigilantes-turned-super heroes who roam Maldoran city searching for criminal elements while having to contend with the cops (think Paul Kersey meets Batman). The central character and leader of the group is Shadowmoth, otherwise known as Ant Collins. The villain of this chapter is Maldoran’s mayor Alistair Kriegan, rumored to have ties to the city’s criminal underground. The tale begins with him abducting city governor Derrick Livingstone for unknown reasons, after he exposed the mayor’s shady dealings. Upon being caught by the Shadowsix Kriegan reveals he has rigged enough explosives to level the entire city. Meanwhile someone is watching from the shadows, revealed to be Redeemer, member of the Shadowsix and chief rival of Shadowmoth. It is he who puts a permanent stop to Kriegan as the comic establishes him as a foil to Collins. For information about all of Shadowsix, there are bios provided at the end of this issue, following a cliffhanger for the next chapter involving Collins’ brother. The storytelling wastes no time getting into the action and establishing each characters’ personality immediately after you start reading. The chase scenes, fight sequences and the introductions are all fast paces and visceral, making it hard not to imagine you’re there watching everything unfold. I felt swept into it instantly and wondered how Shadowsix would pan out as a miniseries on Syfy, or perhaps internet TV. Also included here is a preview of Dampman, Liam’s other comic. Shadowsix updates are consistently being posted at its Facebook community page. -Dave Wolff

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