Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artwork: Goran Sudžuka
Colors: Ive Svorcina
Lettering: Rob Steen
Release Date: 19th June 2019
McGregor has been removed from the board, another piece taken in Carnahan’s viscous, twisted, game of chess. Only able to communicate via fragments of messages and images, McGregor leads Shaw towards the truth of why they are playing this game and who the real players actually are, but will the reality of the situation be too much to bear?
Where I felt the last issue was somewhat of a filler piece, this latest chapter gets back up to speed very quickly and has some deliciously horrific moments. It’s nice to see something of Shaw’s earlier years in this issue, and whilst it’s not a particularly happy memory, the exchange between Shaw and her father is quite touching.
We briefly see the fate of Goss, and finally find out what happened to Hunzikker, why he’s kneeling in a pile of bones, endlessly emptying his gun into his skull, even past the point that he could possibly be alive. Honestly, I think if I’d been shown the things Hunzikker had, I’d be doing the same. We also finally discover the fate of Driscoll, and learn the truth about the grand betrayal that has led Shaw to this point.
Ultimately, this is an issue that is all about Shaw, and that’s exactly as it should be. Whatever has happened over the last 11 issues has been all about bringing her to this point, to see how she has been manipulated and why. I’m eagerly awaiting the finale in issue 12, I have no idea where we’re going to end up but I guarantee it won’t be what we’re expecting. I’m also very conscious that we’re almost at the finale, and that this is going to be the end of a series that I have loved since issue one. Obviously we need to see how the next issue falls but I’d dearly love to see this series continue, as Garth Ennis on top form is just incomparable.
Goran Sudžuka and Ive Svorcina are also on top from this issue. Where I thought the last issue was a little lacklustre, this issue is fantastic. The horror that Sudžuka and Svorcina deliver, depicting the fates of Carnahan’s victims, contrasts with his round, innocent, almost childlike face in a way that is truly scary. Only once in the issue, in fact I think this is the first time in the series, do we see his mask slip slightly, with the simple darkening of his brow in a single panel.
So here we are, the 11th issue, one more to go. At the gates of hell, and at the witching hour. What will Christmas Day bring for Shaw?
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek