Slow-burner is something of a back-handed compliment, isn’t it? On the one hand, it acknowledges the detail in a book, the time taken to build a world and its characters from the ground up, whilst on the other veritably screaming ‘get on with it, will you?!’. Sadly, I’m going to have to hit this with the very same backhand that m’colleague Jules fired at issue #1 – Shutter is clearly going somewhere, but it’s difficult to say exactly where just now. It’s all a bit muddled.
Anything tagged as ‘Indiana Jones but…’ should be an immediate hit with me, but there’s just so little actually going on amid de Luca’s wonderful art and the Dr Cox-ian onomatopoeia from letterer Ed Brisson (thragga-bra-dram indeed!) in terms of the actual protagonist. I want to know more about Kate Kristopher, why she bailed on the explorer game – but instead, we’re presented with a hell of a lot happening about her, with little explanation as to why, and only the vaguest glimpses into what happened before. Our heroine is being hunted, that much is clear, but like the wee fan kid with the horns in the first issue, the only question on my mind is ‘but why?’.
Still, this latest issue picks up the traction a bit, and certainly packs some fairly meaty action chops. The ostensible side stories going on do have a certain charm about them, particular in the middle of the book, which showcases Keatinge’s penchant for wonderfully meta dialogue, which is something of a joy. That and the weird and wonderful characters that populate the world are fascinating, if, again, a little obscure. But it does manage to drive me to want to find out what the heck is going on, and that’s something of an achievement, given the vaguery going on.
I imagine we’re one, maybe two issues away from it all coming together, and things are certainly looking up after the relatively lacklustre first issue. If it does indeed follow through on this, expect to see the score below tick up once again, because there is a hell of a lot to like here.
The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24