Unfortunately I missed reviewing the last issue of Shutter, since I was busy. However, surprise surprise, quite a few things happened in that issue and it feels like we got a new direction for this story. Where will this wild and crazy series take us now that things are about to get very trippy? Is it good?
Shutter #10 (Image Comics)
So Katherine and Kalliyah have fallen into a limboish dimension/dreamscape (still not sure what the hell it exactly is) and unlike Kalliyah, who has been preparing for the journey, Kat is not having a good time. She’s really not adjusting mentally to her new surroundings and the dimension she is in. If she doesn’t get over it soon though, she may not be coming out of this insanity.
I’m more concerned about how trippy things are becoming.
Most of this recent story arc (or past couple of issues) has been… slow moving. The story has been sort of going at a snail’s pace here, with little actually happening each issue outside of very minor reveals and big cliffhangers that kind of peter out in the next issue. We’ve also had a very vague direction for where this comic is supposed to be going due to how ambiguous and unclear things are. It’s obvious the writer is trying to keep things a mystery and leave us in suspense, but it gets tiring after a while and we start to crave for some answers. The last issue felt like things finally picked up and that we were getting some answers (only to be given even more questions in return, mind you). This issue, unfortunately, goes back to the very slow and kind of uneventful plot we’ve been having previously.
Half of the issue is just Katherine tripping out and trying to come to grips with whatever insanity she’s experiencing in this trip. While the imagery is a sight to be seen (we’ll discuss the art in a bit), there’s really no point to this scene and it feels like padding. The idea here is that Katherine comes to grips with who she is and what she wants in life as she regains control of herself, but it’s kind of pointless. She’s honestly not been having a big crisis about who she is as a person or what she wants; at least not recently. It’s never been an issue that’s been haunting her or has been in the background of the series, as much as her being surprised that she has other family members (which honestly doesn’t seem to make her rethink herself, just her dad). So this whole point was unneeded and felt like a manufactured and implied problem she has been having. The rest of the issue doesn’t really accomplish much either in the story (the two women just fight some guys), outside of the final reveal. It’s rather disappointing as I thought things were going to be picking up.
Her purpose? Simple: To be rid of you. You’ve done nothing but screw with her this entire series.
The writing on the book is perfectly fine. The pacing is okay, though a bit slow in areas. The story structure is fine and despite some trippy scenes, everything reads well and you never have any difficulty following along. The characterization is okay, but it’s not really noteworthy. The comic also has yet to really make Kalliyah an interesting character that you want to follow. She’s just kind of an annoyance with daddy issues that is just dragging Katherine along for the ride, while also making things far more complicated than they should be for everyone in the series. The dialogue is fine as well, with no real complaints at all. Overall, the writing works and that’s all there is to it.
The artwork is what saves the issue and really gives this series a nice boost in the creativity and visuals department. While the trippy scene in Kat’s mind didn’t really go anywhere, it was wonderfully drawn and put together. The imagery was striking and lovely to look at, making your eyes dart all over the pages trying to see and pick out all the little details in it. The layouts are strong here as well, making things easy to follow and the story never becomes hard to keep track of. Combined with stunning coloring, this issue is a visual treat. I just wish the story was better so that the comic would be really worth checking out.
I agree with that. It would have been better if you two had never met.
Is It Good?
Shutter #10 is an issue that has to potential to be great, but lacks the strong writing and story to be able to achieve that. It has a potentially interesting story and setup, with truly amazing artwork, but the story is so slow and uneventful at points, trying to do things that are just not necessary. The comic can easily turn around at any points, since it shows promise, but at this point, it’s merely above average. Perhaps just wait until the current arc is over and then check back.