Shutter left off on a rather big cliffhanger and the departure of its inker, Ed Brisson (who now writes comics). Let’s see where the series takes us this time around. Is it good?
Shutter #7 (Image Comics)
Last we left off, Kate and her little, newly discovered brother, Chris, are now facing off against some sort of crazy, weird, flying monstrosity that sort of looks like a Chinese dragon that spits out mini flying creatures with weapons for heads. And things get worse and seem to be looking like they’ll be heading to meet more of their family very soon.
Hmm, between you and me, I think you might need a bigger gun.
So, after a big cliffhanger last time and over two months of waiting, Shutter returns and it’s… alright. It’s not bad at all, but after all that wait, it feels a tad underwhelming. From a story perspective, not a whole lot happens. There’s a big cool and flashy action scene for the first half of the book that’s great to look at, but we do not have much change in the story, there’s no real character growth or development, and we don’t really learn anything new. A few minor things happen and it leaves off on a good cliffhanger, but the story was not particularly thrilling or engaging in this outing (maybe this issue would have served as a better cliffhanger).
Focusing more in on the character angle, this issue surprisingly didn’t give us much to work with. There is certainly characterization going on, but nothing particularly remarkable and nothing that you don’t already know. There’s no real bonding between Kate and Chris; the villain isn’t very memorable nor do we get any insight into her character; we find out that the two bounty hunters from the previous issue are alive (somehow…) but nothing advances with their characters; and the cat clock gets its head blown off but besides his usual upbeat personality and design, his ‘death’ is not particularly tragic since he’s really not developed in the slightest and all of it barely makes an impression on Kate. Kate is still a decent and likeable character overall, but the characterization and development for everyone was just underwhelming.
Oh yeah, Kate’s friend is still technically in this comic.)
The writing otherwise is fine. The story structure and pacing are decent, flowing from one scene or page to another without any problems. There is a hint of decompression with a couple of double page spreads that don’t really add anything to comic (you could easily get the same effect the double page spread is showing by doing it all in one page). The dialogue is fine overall, though not a lot of it stands out. The only thing it does is a very awkward and out of place attempt at humor when it censors one character who swears a lot and tries “warning” the audience about what they are going to get into. The rest of the writing mechanics are alright, but not particularly noteworthy. Honestly, while the writing is fine, the whole story felt very middle of the road.
But you know what doesn’t feel middle of the road? The artwork. It still looks incredible and so eye-catching. With a lesser artist, the opening action scene would have felt like it was dragging and just biding time. But every single image and shot of the action scene was absolutely incredible with how well detailed, energetic, and exciting it felt. There was so much to draw your eye to that you don’t know where to focus on next. The same goes with the rest of the book and the level of detail put into the scenery, characters, emotion, and other little areas. Maybe there is a boring blank background every once in a while, but the artwork still carries this book overall and looks damn good while doing so.
Is It Good?
Shutter #7 brings the series back after its break with a rather average and middle of the road experience. The artwork is wonderful, but the story and characters do not provide enough to deliver on a truly great and engaging read like the series should be. This is a rather disappointing return, but hopefully things shape up as more issues come out in the future.