Published on April 15th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Shutter #11 Review
I hope you’ve been paying attention because there’s a lot going on and the story takes a massive leap this month.
Kate and Kalliyan are on their mission to find their mother in the World of Dreams and have to battle the Gnome King like Rathborn and his array of crystalline minions. Kalliyan proves that she’s a dab hand with a rifle but not very good at family relations. Kate on the other hand show’s that she can adapt to any situation, which is saying something considering the crazy situations she gets into. She gains the upper hand and takes control of a flying bed.
Rathborn, on the other hand, loses control as he becomes more pissed off that the arrangement has been broken: No kin of Kristopher is allowed in the World of Dreaming.
Meanwhile Tic-Toc is looking for young Christopher who has hidden himself away. There is an exchange between Tic-Toc and the Alarm cat (who from now on will be called Cassius) that seems fairly pretentious but will probably prove to be very important later. The conversation spins out of Cassius’ reading of Shakespeare and his understanding that it takes ‘will’ to change a system and that nothing is set in stone. It all sounds like what’s been happening to Kate since issue 1 but so far the ‘Cassius’ behind it all hasn’t been revealed.
The Wizard of Oz theme that seems to be all over this issue is further visible when Rathborn is taken out by a giant spider-cannon (yes that does say spider-cannon) and a little old man walks out of the fallen mountain of a body. The Red Priests whose spider-cannon it is (I will not tire of the spider-cannon, not unless they bring back the lion gangsters from the first arc) step up and scare Rathborn off before taking Kate and Kalliyan into a vast Gothic mansion before…..no, some things should be discovered by yourself.
This issue is packed to the rafters with fast paced action and surprising character developments. The last few issues have been building slowly and this issue is the break of the wave before it comes crashing down onto the beach. Keatinge’s script is a torrent of twists and turns as he takes each character that the reader has come to know and portrays them from a slightly different angle. There is a moment that makes you believe that the Alarm Cat, sorry, Cassius has actually switched sides. His scene with Tic-Toc has an air of menace to it that grinds against the fantasy action that surrounds it making the entire scene stick in the readers head right up to the final scene where Keatinge then manages to change your focus yet again. This is the greatest strength of this comic, the fact that you cannot be sure of anything, just like the Wizard from the Wizard of Oz: nothing is at it seems.
You do have to feel slightly sorry for Leila Del Duca at times, just like Fiona Staples on Saga, because some of the images that she is asked to illustrate are just bat shit crazy. However she has managed time and again to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park. No matter where the action goes Del Duca manages to express the emotional side of the characters beautifully.
Shutter is a comic that takes the idea of a story within a story to whole new heights. If you’re the type of person that likes to become lost within layers and layers of story and literary references then you should definitely be reading this but I recommend picking up volume 1 so you have a chance at following the narrative.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Leila Del Duca
Colours: Owen Gieni
Letterer: John Workman