Review – Shanghai Red #2 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artwork: Joshua Hixson
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Release Date: 25th July 2018

After a strong opening issue, Christopher Sebela and Josh Hixson’s SHANGHAI RED continues this week as Molly (aka “Red”) returns to Portland to wreak bloody vengeance on the men who stole two years of her life.

The harsh reality of Molly’s life with her family – even before she was shanghaied and woke up as a slave on the Bellwood – is explored a little deeper here, and we get to find out a little more about what happened to her mother and sister following her disappearance.  It doesn’t make for particularly uplifting reading, and even as Molly starts to cross names off her ‘list’, there’s a feeling that she isn’t really deriving any pleasure from it.  In fact, it’s clear that most of the humanity has bled out of her a long time ago.

In spite of this, there’s still something shockingly engaging about the character, and Sebela does a great job of drawing us in and allowing us become invested in her story, rather than just having her come across like a soulless Terminator, hell-bent on revenge.

Hixson does a great job once again on the visual side of the book, bringing the murky shadows of Portland to life and adding a decidedly uncomfortable feel to the more violent sequences.  Nothing is particularly graphic or overly gory, but the way the sequences are framed and the striking use of colour and onomatopoeia makes these moments resonate far deeper than a purely ‘bloody and guts’ approach ever could.

As I mentioned above, it’s not exactly an uplifting read, but there’s a grim sense of gratification in seeing the bastards responsible for Molly’s suffering finally getting what’s coming to them.  Also, Sebela also throws in an interesting curveball regarding Molly’s family midway through the issue that I can’t wait to see explored in greater depth as the series unfolds.

Dark, demoralising and utterly captivating, SHANGHAI RED is a wonderfully atmospheric revenge thriller that you need to add to your pull list right away.

Rating: 4/5.

If you want to find out more about SHANGHAI RED, make sure to check out our interview with Christopher and Joshua by CLICKING HERE.

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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