Published on February 11th, 2015 | by JCDoyle


Shutter #9 – Review

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Family: it’s a funny old thing.

There you are wandering around, living your life, minding your own business, believing you’re the last of the line when along comes a sister you never knew about. And a brother. And a host of other siblings. And let’s not forget the parents.

Kate Kristopher’s family just keep coming back to haunt her and Joe Keatinge takes great pleasure in revealing Kate’s history in shocking and emotional slices. There is a lot of exposition in this issue with a chunk of history followed by its relevance in the modern day. At a World’s Fair in Paris in 1889 two black and white characters enter the red hued underworld know as Prospero. Prospero is the dark arts version of the World’s Fair happening above in the safety and light of Paris and down there in the shadows is a vast hall of curiosities of which the centre piece is the Porticullis Hypnos of Professor Rathborn. It is to this that Magali is drawn and her revelation that Rathborn was her grandfather. More family secrets revealed!

Shutter 9 insert 2

Back in present day Cambodia yet more family links are made and Kate suddenly understands why she has been so sought after. With this knowledge finally comes some power and Kate takes advantage of this new situation to protect her younger brother. Chris, the younger brother and the only family member Kate has any real affection for, is left in reasonably good hands as Kate and Kalliyan head into a whole new level of craziness. The final splash page has a hint of 2001: A Space Odyssey about it.

As I have already mentioned, there is a lot of exposition in this issue. A flashback sequence is added to give weight to the Porticullis which is also introduced in this issue. If this had been written by a lesser talent the narrative structure would be too ham fisted with uncomfortable info dumps every other page however Keatinge has been working with these characters for long enough to know exactly how to pace the story. His unravelling of Kate’s family history has been building month after month and it all feels like it’s clicking into place. This issue does feel like it has slowed just a tad from previous months but what it lacks in outlandishness it more than makes up for in emotional character building.

Shutter 9 insert

Leila Del Duca’s art work continues to impress as each month she creates elaborate and stylish mystical designs to sit alongside the more recognisable imagery.  There is something about the way she draws eyes that captures the emotional content of the story just right.

Together they creating a magical realist world that is as believable as it is fantastical.

Special mention needs to go to the additional feature by Kit Seaton which tells the tale of a maid who believes her dreams have come true only too…’s worth reading for the twisty end. So go, fly my pretties and pick up a copy.


Title: Shutter

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Joe Keatinge

Artist: Leila Del Duca

Colours: Owen Gieni

Letterer: John Workman

Additional Material: Kit Seaton




Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)

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