Joe Keatinge and Leila De Duca breath new life into globetrotting adventure comics with their gigantic and imaginative world. Kate Kristopher may be bored with the world around her, but from everything we see, she has no reason to be. “Shutter” makes a solid effort to define itself in a genre carved out by timeless classics like The Adventures of Tintin and for the most part it succeeds.
This comic begins by instilling a sense of wonder, adding a sense of bewilderment, and topping it off with a sense of casual complacency. You watch as Kate Kristopher is introduced into a very wild world from an incredibly young age and you’ll be in awe of the universe around her. She lives in a fantastic age filled with weird and marvelous creatures, but she claims her life is boring.
It’s hard to see. She has been on numerous fantastic adventures. The brief glimpses of her exploits that we’re treated too seem more exciting than I could possibly fathom. She’s Johnny Quest but grown up having saw enough to live a thousand lifetimes her world is far from ordinary, but doesn’t seem to faze her anymore.
The looming specters outside of the pages seem to characterize the story more that Kate herself. It’s a beautifully balanced script that shows something missing outside of the primal appeal of adventure, but it’s not quite clear what that something is just yet. It seems rooted in her relationship to her father, but surely there is more to it than that.
Leila De Duca will by all accounts blow you away. Her art is wildly imaginative and pulled off seamlessly. It’s actually quite stunning to see the scope of the world she has created here. Everything is completely outside the ordinary but manages to have a casual complacency about it. You’ll see a spaceman from 50’s science fiction serials sitting on the subway, and a business minotaur in a suit. Only to be juxtaposed by a swash buckling Kate swinging off a sinking ship as its attacked by a Chthulu like monster. It’s hard to fathom, but De Duca makes it look easy.
There is a lot about the power of childhood here on these pages. A child raised in constant danger comes to thrive off of it. They feel lost without it, and that certainly resonates with Kate. “Shutter” will surprise you. It’s not about all the beautiful and fantastic creatures on the page instead it’s an oddly heartfelt look at a woman’s loss of innocence and wonder in a world literally brimming with adventure.
Powerful and exciting with a flavor of the mundane “Shutter” sadly takes its time in this first issue to develop it’s characters and world a little too much without a real focus on what Kate’s story is actually about. For now though, #1 offers a tantalizing tease of the larger world to come.
Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls.
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