Review: Shutter #21

Not everything can be fast paced and action packed all the time. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down, look around, and enjoy what’s really going on. In the case of Shutter #21 I’d rather not have to slow down, but in this case, I guess it’s necessary. The plan to destroy Prospero continues to build as Keatinge tosses even more characters into the mix. Issue 21 continues the slow build up to what could potentially be a finale, but we aren’t there quite yet. In the meantime, what we do get is a lot of talking.

Kate and the gang await the arrival of Nero’s friend, Zohra, whose role we have yet to really determine. This issue is a waiting game, divulging a lot of information, and building up for the ultimate conflict at the end. When Zohra and her son, Achebe, finally arrive we are treated to some nice flashbacks. Zohra, as it turns out, was Kate’s father’s mentor, well one of them. While The General taught Christopher how to fire a gun and fight, Shutter_21-1Zohra taught him how to create and how to love. It’s a lot of backstory on a character that has been dead the entire series and even though it should be obvious why this entire issue was spent on flashbacks, it isn’t really. Achebe tells Kate about his mother as well. Regaling her with tales of her great deeds over the year, and how she became a powerful techie (instead of doing coke in the 80s she worked on computers). It’s all well and good, but it’s a little long-winded just to get to the end where they briefly discuss going after Prospero.

In such a kinetic comic staying in the same two rooms of an apartment felt like an eternity. Despite the introduction of two very strong characters, it couldn’t help me from wanting to cut loose from it all and dream about the weird imaginative early issues. The pacing in the last few issues has been very up and down, delivering action when required, but slowing down when it felt right as well. And sometimes it makes sense to have an entire chapter just be dialogue, preparing the reader for what’s coming next. I don’t think Shutter, as an adventure comic, needs to slow down so much.

The cast of protagonists has grown larger and larger since the latest story arc began and Kate began to meet her other siblings. Increasing the cast doesn’t really matter unless those characters begin to fade into the background or blur together. Shutter so far has not had an issue with this, so we’ll see how Keatinge handles the larger number of support characters. On another note Shutter has always been host to a very diverse cast with a wide range of personalities and traits, something that a lot of comics can’t attest to. Overall Shutter is still a phenomenal comic, providing adventure in a lush world full of interesting and fun characters. Issue #21 fell a little short of expectations, but it just means that the next one will be even better

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Shutter #21 Writer: Joe Keatinge Artist: Leila Del Duca Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/11/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital