Division Shadow

Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Division Shadow Creator(s): Patrick Meaney
Publishers: Pop Eclectic Productions (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $1.50(US)

Division Shadow [Chapter One, Into the Night] is the first issue of a six part series set in America dealing with a military organization called Division Shadow whose objective it is to preserve the status quo.

In many ways this first chapter is quite unremarkable. The cover promises little in the way of innovation and indeed the storyline in this first chapter delivers little that is stunningly new. I would have to say that the jury is still out as to whether this title will develop into something to look forward to something that just meanders along, happy to be just another Sci Fi mini series.

What is interesting however is the fact that this comic is the combined work of three different artists, each with their own set of characters to track through and develop [a total of 12 characters]. In effect this gives the reader three separate story arcs to follow which is structurally interesting.

The first page offers a promising enough start as a militaristic figure appears to be directly addressing the reader. It is a shame then when we turn over the page that we are confronted with two poorly reproduced pages. I am sure that in their original form they would look just fine but here they are too small and too blurry and as a result, hard work for the reader. Luckily it is only the work of the one artist that suffers here the contributions from the other two reproduce well and are therefore more effective. My personal favourite pages are those set in the noisy Middle Eastern night club. The artist has captured a real sense of the noise and activity of a hight club and the use of movement lines adds a real energy to these pages.

As one would expect from the first part of an ongoing arc the reader is left with more questions than answers. Most of these centre around the birth of a mysterious baby.

My desire to answer these questions is strong enough to convince me to give this title another go. It will be interesting to see how the three artists and their characters intersect as the story progresses.

Overall there will need to be some convincing narrative development occur to prevent this series from staggering towards the clichéd. The good thing is that there is enough mystery introduced in this first chapter to ensure that this need not happen. Time will tell.

In a Word: Indistinctive

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