Rating: 4.5/5 – Historical Fiction with a Mystical Slant.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
The heroine of this tale, Rosalind Larkspur, does not follow the norm for women in Elizabethan England. She doesn’t like to wear dresses, preferring men’s clothes. She carries and practices with a sword. She is studying mysticism with Dr. John Dee (a real-life character, advisor to the Queen who straddles the worlds of magic, astrology, and science). And after this debut issue I love her as a character, which as those who read my reviews know, is a key factor in me continuing with a comic series. I need to be made to like and care about the characters.
Writer/Artist Aly Fell does an outstanding job on this issue. I was unfamiliar with his work (Aly is short for Alastair) and when I looked him up I found he was credited with a few covers and a story in the Dec 2014 issue of Heavy Metal, so he is new, but really impressed me with his work here. He is a creator I’m going to be following from now on. The specifics of the story are hard to go into without spoiling things, but I’ll cover a few points that are in the solicit text for issue #1, so are out there. We are introduced to Rosalind’s parents before she is born, see a bit of their connection with Dr. Dee, and then jump forward 20 years to 1582. Rosalind (affectionately known as Rose) learns that the man who raised her, Adam Larkspur, is not her biological father. The man who actually sired her is a man of questionable ethics, Thomas Hughes, and Rose sets off against her fathers advice, to find out more about the circumstances of her birth. This is, in some way not yet clear, tied up with the mystical artifact the Shadow Glass.
Shadow Glass #1 is one of those books that could easily fly under your radar. It’s from a mid-tier publisher (sorry Dark Horse) and a new creator, Aly Fell. Add to that the fact that it’s historical fiction with nary a super-hero, gun, or explosion in sight. This is typically not the formula that gets a lot of buzz from the comics, which is too bad. I thoroughly enjoyed this comic and Aly Fell is a creator that I think people should be keeping an eye on. People will suddenly discover he one day if he gets snatched up by one of the big companies to work on one of their super-hero books, but this is where you can find him now. Telling his story and telling it his way. I’m on board, keep it coming, Aly!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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