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Shadow Service Vol. 1

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Worried your partner is cheating? Need a missing person found? Gina Meyers is the Private Investigator for you. Sure, she’s a witch who worries that her powers make her more of a monster than the crooks she’s trying to catch, but it’s not like London’s criminal underworld is literally going to hell… is it? Spy craft meets black magic in the shadowy world of MI666. Collects Worried your partner is cheating? Need a missing person found? Gina Meyers is the Private Investigator for you. Sure, she’s a witch who worries that her powers make her more of a monster than the crooks she’s trying to catch, but it’s not like London’s criminal underworld is literally going to hell… is it? Spy craft meets black magic in the shadowy world of MI666. Collects Shadow Service issues #1-4.


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Worried your partner is cheating? Need a missing person found? Gina Meyers is the Private Investigator for you. Sure, she’s a witch who worries that her powers make her more of a monster than the crooks she’s trying to catch, but it’s not like London’s criminal underworld is literally going to hell… is it? Spy craft meets black magic in the shadowy world of MI666. Collects Worried your partner is cheating? Need a missing person found? Gina Meyers is the Private Investigator for you. Sure, she’s a witch who worries that her powers make her more of a monster than the crooks she’s trying to catch, but it’s not like London’s criminal underworld is literally going to hell… is it? Spy craft meets black magic in the shadowy world of MI666. Collects Shadow Service issues #1-4.

30 review for Shadow Service Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    A great start to this new series. Gina is a P.I. in London with a twist. She's also a witch. Did I mention there's a talking rat? Then she encounters someone who knows about her and that's where spycraft meets witchcraft as she's recruited into MI666. The art and colors are great. It's a lot of fun with great looking monsters. I'm glad I started buying this one monthly. A great start to this new series. Gina is a P.I. in London with a twist. She's also a witch. Did I mention there's a talking rat? Then she encounters someone who knows about her and that's where spycraft meets witchcraft as she's recruited into MI666. The art and colors are great. It's a lot of fun with great looking monsters. I'm glad I started buying this one monthly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    I can see what Shadow Service is trying to do, and it's a lot. I don't think it succeeds at most of those things. Our main character, Gina, has the ability to cast spells. She thinks she's unique, and of course she isn't. In fact, Great Britain has it's own magic/demon-focused secret service, nicknamed MI666 (which is fun). And that's where the cliches start tumbling over eachother. MI666 is of course military in nature - their agents use guns (sigh) with magicked bullits and wear black tactical a I can see what Shadow Service is trying to do, and it's a lot. I don't think it succeeds at most of those things. Our main character, Gina, has the ability to cast spells. She thinks she's unique, and of course she isn't. In fact, Great Britain has it's own magic/demon-focused secret service, nicknamed MI666 (which is fun). And that's where the cliches start tumbling over eachother. MI666 is of course military in nature - their agents use guns (sigh) with magicked bullits and wear black tactical armour (think The Initiative from Buffy). The place seems to be run by a very old man trapped in the body of an 8-year-old boy, basically Number Five from The Umbrella Academy. The MI666 HQ is inside a van, which is of course much bigger on the inside. There's the usual Gina-gets-kidnapped-then-escapes-then-finally-works-with-the-team palaver. What I did like is the idea that Gina's spellcasting creates insomnia, although this pretty much forgotten about later on in the book. I feel like the art isn't competent enough to carry the book off, there are quite a few of wonky faces, and a lot of the design choices look a bit bland. That said, I do like the demon designs, and Number Five is in contact with a huge Angel of Death kind of thing, which looks great. The book is never bad, just a bit too derivative for me. Did really like that huge winged skeleton, though. (Picked up an ARC through Edelweiss)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Black ops meets black arts in this comic book series, following a witch turned private detective. This volume collects together the first five issues and I'm so glad I had them all ready to dive into, due to the cliff-hanger ending that featured in each. The art style was a perfect match for the macabre and gritty storyline, set in this dingy urban setting. It remained vivid in design and moody in its colouring, throughout. This first issue was fast-paced, action-packed and set up a very interesti Black ops meets black arts in this comic book series, following a witch turned private detective. This volume collects together the first five issues and I'm so glad I had them all ready to dive into, due to the cliff-hanger ending that featured in each. The art style was a perfect match for the macabre and gritty storyline, set in this dingy urban setting. It remained vivid in design and moody in its colouring, throughout. This first issue was fast-paced, action-packed and set up a very interesting storyline with a strong female protagonist at its centre. It introduced a world very much like our own, but with fantastical entities lingering in its shadows. The second issue delved deeper into protagonist, Asellan's, childhood, including information about the first time her abilities manifested themselves and the emotional repunctuations this had on her. It also continued to explore the predicament Asellan found herself in as the first issue closed, which entirely deconstructed her world view and introduced a new element that would form the focus for the following issues. The third issue furthered informed both Asellan and the reader of the supernatural entities that roamed our world, and the secret service taxed with protecting humanity from them. There was a small point where I lost the gist of what was occurring, with so much new information imparted in such few words, but quickly found my way again before the issue's gripping conclusion. The fourth issue opened with Asellan possessed by an undesirable entity and I struggled to see how she, along with her new acquaintances would get free without also killing her in the process. It was managed pretty quickly, but only proved to further complicate the already tricky truths Asellan believed about herself and the world around her. I highly appreciated the emotional elements present in this issue, and also how it provided more backstory for one of Asellan's new accomplices. The fifth and final issue left me desperately longing for more, with the largest reveal so far presented right as the volume concluded. Each and every issue offered the reader action, gore, and bloodshed, but it was the perpetual new truths and mysteries that kept me so invested and also so eager to get my hands on volume two. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Cavan Scott, the illustrator, Corin Howell, and the publisher, Vault Comics, for this opportunity. Also, thanks to Jamie-Lee Nardone, the director of Black Crow PR, for originally reaching out to me about this title.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kadi P

    *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* Witty and thrilling from start to finish. Surprisingly British and unsurprisingly supernatural, this was a fantastically fun read. The characters were dynamic and intriguing and this comic’s take on magic and other supernatural creatures were superbly done. With great art and colours to boot, there’s literally nothing to fault in this comic. I am 100% on board with this and can’t wait to read th *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* Witty and thrilling from start to finish. Surprisingly British and unsurprisingly supernatural, this was a fantastically fun read. The characters were dynamic and intriguing and this comic’s take on magic and other supernatural creatures were superbly done. With great art and colours to boot, there’s literally nothing to fault in this comic. I am 100% on board with this and can’t wait to read the next vol to see what happens next!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Shadow Service Vol. 1: Dark Arts' by Cavan Scott with illustrations by Corin Howell is a graphic novel that tells an urban fantasy story. Gina is a P.I. with an edge. She's a natural born witch and she has a rat familiar for helping out. When her case crosses paths with London's dark spy society, MI666, there is an initial mistrust, then they try to recruit her. Along the way, we get Gina's backstory. This was engaging storytelling and it kept me interested from the beginning. The art is prett go 'Shadow Service Vol. 1: Dark Arts' by Cavan Scott with illustrations by Corin Howell is a graphic novel that tells an urban fantasy story. Gina is a P.I. with an edge. She's a natural born witch and she has a rat familiar for helping out. When her case crosses paths with London's dark spy society, MI666, there is an initial mistrust, then they try to recruit her. Along the way, we get Gina's backstory. This was engaging storytelling and it kept me interested from the beginning. The art is prett good too. I'd like to read more about this character and the creepy world she lives in. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Vault Comics, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ben Long

    Review coming soon!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really enjoyed this. The artwork is solid, and I enjoyed the use of the restrained palette including purple for the main character (but purple is one of my favorite colors) and green for old-school creepy/moody/paranormal vibes. I'm interested to know what happens next, and I'm a sucker for paranormal investigators and spy stories. I really enjoyed this. The artwork is solid, and I enjoyed the use of the restrained palette including purple for the main character (but purple is one of my favorite colors) and green for old-school creepy/moody/paranormal vibes. I'm interested to know what happens next, and I'm a sucker for paranormal investigators and spy stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yazmin

    English at the end e-Arc provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. TW: Slight gore and domestic abuse, passing HP mention Bien por Gran Bretaña, un comic con una mezcla entre Doctor Who (It's bigger on the inside!), las tortugas ninja (hay una rata, no pude evitar asociarlo) y supernatural pero Dean puede usar magia. La historia es dinámica pero un tanto difusa en el soporte de fondo con el que cuenta, estoy segura de que se darán las introducciones pertinentes en los siguientes vol English at the end e-Arc provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. TW: Slight gore and domestic abuse, passing HP mention Bien por Gran Bretaña, un comic con una mezcla entre Doctor Who (It's bigger on the inside!), las tortugas ninja (hay una rata, no pude evitar asociarlo) y supernatural pero Dean puede usar magia. La historia es dinámica pero un tanto difusa en el soporte de fondo con el que cuenta, estoy segura de que se darán las introducciones pertinentes en los siguientes volúmenes. Con una paleta que cambia entre neón y levemente Noir cada pocas páginas la historia no es tan grafica como podría ser, a pesar de los cuerpos desmembrados y las escenas llenas de cadáveres y vísceras no da una sensación de gore intenso, si no llevadero que permite fusionarse con la historia sin perturbar al lector, lo atribuyo principalmente a la paleta de colores que se usa en esas escenas especificas. Me agrada que veamos una consecuencia al uso de magia diferente a lo usual, aunque nuestra protagonista cae dentro de la categoría "special snowflake", espero que la historia de origen que le den lo compense y además pueda desarrollar habilidades independientes a la magia, porque para ser detective supernatural depende mucho de ella y puedo ver en su futuro un incidente tipo Korra. [ENGLISH] Good for Great Britain, a comic with a mix between Doctor Who (It's bigger on the inside!), The ninja turtles (there's a rat, I couldn't help myself, lol) and supernatural but Dean can use magic. The story is dynamic but somewhat diffuse in its background, I am sure that the pertinent introductions will be given in the following volumes. With a palette that changes between neon and slightly Noir every few pages the story is not as graphic as it could be, despite the dismembered bodies and the scenes full of corpses and viscera, it does not give a feeling of intense gore, it merges with the story without disturbing the reader, I attribute it mainly to the color palette used in those specific scenes. I like that we see a consequence to the use of magic different from the usual, although our protagonist falls into the category "special snowflake", I can only hope that the origin story that they'll give her will compensate it, and also hope that she can develop independent abilities to magic, because to be a supernatural detective depends a lot on her use of magic, and I can see a Korra-type incident in her future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    (Ellie) ReadtoRamble

    I received this eARC for free in exchange for an honest review, so thank you to the author and the publisher. All opinions are my own. Trigger Warnings: mentions and depictions of domestic abuse, drinking, violence, blood, gore, cannibalism, demons, death, murder, possession, rats. I liked how this one started because I was directly immersed into the story, in the present day and we got to see the main character, Gina, at work in what she knows best. When I read this book had witches, how could I I received this eARC for free in exchange for an honest review, so thank you to the author and the publisher. All opinions are my own. Trigger Warnings: mentions and depictions of domestic abuse, drinking, violence, blood, gore, cannibalism, demons, death, murder, possession, rats. I liked how this one started because I was directly immersed into the story, in the present day and we got to see the main character, Gina, at work in what she knows best. When I read this book had witches, how could I not want to read it? I loved the unique take on witchcraft, power, magic and the politics that are just subtly hidden in this book and that we start to see as the story evolves. Something that I also really enjoyed and that helped me better understand the current events, character personalities and their feelings were the little flashbacks we got from Gina’s perspective back to when she was a child. I felt so sorry for her, but I was really intrigued about her past and I think this addition made the backstory much more solid and helped me to understand Gina’s current feelings. The writing style and dialogue were quick and clean, nothing was added that didn’t need to be there and I just whizzed through the pages. I also really liked that the speech bubbles were kept fairly short as it made it feel even more fast-paced. The drawing style was incredible in my opinion. Very violent, bloody or gory, but I was able to really appreciate the art style which I found very accessible and I was completely lost in the drawings on each page for several minutes. I gave this comic 4 stars and I really enjoyed it. I think it was a great choice since it has witches, magic and a lot of uniqueness that I wasn’t really expecting so it definitely took me by surprise. I didn’t mention it before, but this also has a mystery side which I loved and can’t wait to see more of! If you love witches, magic, mystery, a great and complex main character and you don’t mind violence, blood and gore or the other TWs I mentioned above, then this is the comic for you! I highly recommend it! My full review will be up on my blog soon!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ije the Devourer of Books

    An excellent graphic novel with first class storytelling and really great artwork. In this book the action of The Avengers, combines with the mystery solving of Rivers of London, the communication of Dr Dolittle, and the magic and spell-craft of Harry Potter. The result is sheer excellence! This is definitely a series that I will be following. The best aspect is the rich and engrossing storytelling. I was pulled into the story from the very first panel. The story begins with a bang and then goes n An excellent graphic novel with first class storytelling and really great artwork. In this book the action of The Avengers, combines with the mystery solving of Rivers of London, the communication of Dr Dolittle, and the magic and spell-craft of Harry Potter. The result is sheer excellence! This is definitely a series that I will be following. The best aspect is the rich and engrossing storytelling. I was pulled into the story from the very first panel. The story begins with a bang and then goes nuclear with monsters, magic, weird characters, and twists and turns. It is the kind of story that races along with high energy and adrenaline, but manages to take you along for the ride and it promises that there is more to come! I also enjoyed the strong and courageous female leads. Gina Meyers is a witch with a tragic past. She is a PI and earns her living looking for missing people on the streets of London. She uses her magic and the ability to talk to the animals and she scrapes by, living in a dingy London flat. All this changes when she is kidnapped by members of MI666 and suddenly her supernatural world becomes a lot bigger and a lot more dangerous, with a lot more to be revealed about her allies, her enemies and herself. I enjoyed this. It is the kind of graphic novel that you relish and save on your shelf to re-read. It would also make an excellent movie. Definitely one for the favourite shelf. And there is a talking rat. Copy provided by Diamond Book Distributors and Vault Comics via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley This was a decent enough read but ultimately not really anything unique enough to keep me invested. It started out fairly well, I liked the main character and I thought the way her magic worked was interesting with how it caused her to have insomnia etc, but then this is all pretty much thrown by the wayside to do a very cliched 'she gets recruited by a secret government agency' plotline. None of the other characters really stand out to me in any I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley This was a decent enough read but ultimately not really anything unique enough to keep me invested. It started out fairly well, I liked the main character and I thought the way her magic worked was interesting with how it caused her to have insomnia etc, but then this is all pretty much thrown by the wayside to do a very cliched 'she gets recruited by a secret government agency' plotline. None of the other characters really stand out to me in any way at all [except for the leader of the group being a pretty blatant ripoff of Number 5 from The Umbrella Academy] and the few mildly intriguing parts [like what he's doing talking to the angel of death] are far overshadowed by how paint by numbers the rest of it is. I guess it's good if you just want a fairly simple and mindless read and I did enjoy it well enough to give it a 3 out of 5, but definitely not enough to read volume 2.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Monique Rosenbaum

    Shadow service #1 is a Graphic novel with great artwork & detail. It is gory, and long enough to get you into the world it's unfolding. It ends with a opening for the next novel in series. It has witchery, demons, talking rodents, a secret service that has no problems with murdering things. Great all around graphic! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC so I could read & review this novel. Shadow service #1 is a Graphic novel with great artwork & detail. It is gory, and long enough to get you into the world it's unfolding. It ends with a opening for the next novel in series. It has witchery, demons, talking rodents, a secret service that has no problems with murdering things. Great all around graphic! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC so I could read & review this novel.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I read this really quickly because the story seriously sucked me in! The artwork does a great job of showing dark themes and settings while still being very clear and imaginative. The story itself is a really interesting blend of magic, sci-fi, and mystery. The main character was fun and I loved the secrets, plot twists, and cliff hangers. I definitely want to read more!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natasa ❤️ Cresswell

    *a copy was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review All thought and opinions are my own A great start to this new series. Our main character, Gina, has the ability to cast spells. She thinks she's unique, and of course she isn't. In fact, Great Britain has it's own magic/demon-focused secret service, nicknamed MI666 (which is fun). This first issue was fast-paced, action-packed and set up a very interesting storyline with a strong female protagonist at its center. It introduced a worl *a copy was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review All thought and opinions are my own A great start to this new series. Our main character, Gina, has the ability to cast spells. She thinks she's unique, and of course she isn't. In fact, Great Britain has it's own magic/demon-focused secret service, nicknamed MI666 (which is fun). This first issue was fast-paced, action-packed and set up a very interesting storyline with a strong female protagonist at its center. It introduced a world very much like our own, but with fantastical entities lingering in its shadows. Thank you to the author, Cavan Scott, the illustrator, Corin Howell, and the publisher, Vault Comics, for this opportunity. Also, thanks to Jamie-Lee Nardone, the director of Black Crow PR, for originally reaching out to me about this title. More detailed review here: https://bookswithnatasa.home.blog/202...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Yay for a Britain-set dark fantasy, with a young witch in over her head in working as private investigator. This clearly has some of the wackiness of stories with magic in them for the younger reader – a talking rat associate, super-powered baddies, et al – but it certainly is for the adult-only shelf, too, with semi-dismembered corpses being eaten on, yet with happily the right amount of bravura chutzpah and conviction about the diverse magic abilities to stop them being childishly daft. Well, Yay for a Britain-set dark fantasy, with a young witch in over her head in working as private investigator. This clearly has some of the wackiness of stories with magic in them for the younger reader – a talking rat associate, super-powered baddies, et al – but it certainly is for the adult-only shelf, too, with semi-dismembered corpses being eaten on, yet with happily the right amount of bravura chutzpah and conviction about the diverse magic abilities to stop them being childishly daft. Well, until a Tardis turns up, that is. And Brexit. So yes, this has a couple of tiny lapses in quality, but on the whole it's very engaging, fast-moving fun, and this appears to be launching a fine title with enough about it to go on for a few more trades yet.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Gina Meyer is both incredibly good at her job and a complete and utter train wreck. She's achieved a seamless affirmation and application of the dark arts by intuition alone, but doing so has isolated her from anyone who might have held any manner of affection for her. She's an accomplished private detective of the UK underground, but doing so means she clings to the shadows, the alleyways, the slums, and the sewers on a nightly basis. Gina is a thirtysomething woman with a lot on her mind. SHAD Gina Meyer is both incredibly good at her job and a complete and utter train wreck. She's achieved a seamless affirmation and application of the dark arts by intuition alone, but doing so has isolated her from anyone who might have held any manner of affection for her. She's an accomplished private detective of the UK underground, but doing so means she clings to the shadows, the alleyways, the slums, and the sewers on a nightly basis. Gina is a thirtysomething woman with a lot on her mind. SHADOW SERVICE is a joyride. Tight writing. Annoying but endearing characters. Intelligent narrative pacing. Excellent command of composition and color. This is comic book has everything going for it. Gina is a woman who is getting by on odd detective jobs and the occasional info dump from her only friend in the world, a talking rat named Edwin. But when a missing person's case crosses wires with the interests of a larger, more robust occult paramilitary group, known as Section 26, Gina's preoccupation with using her weird witch skills on the sly might not cut it anymore. Gina's a bit of an odd case. She never studied witchcraft and she never apprenticed in the dark arts. Everything is intuitive. The spells, the commands she uses to levitate, teleport, bind her enemies to parallel dimensions, and so forth, they are all nestled in the back of her mind. Roaming. Muddled. Until they're needed. Gina knows she's an oddball. However, since she's made it this far in life, this whole Section 26 nonsense can't be too bad, right? Well, maybe it is. As readers find, SHADOW SERVICE mixes and matches the intrigue and drama of Gina's mysterious abilities with the white noise of an impending supernatural attack that requires the services of all sorts of underworld baddies, Section 26's self-appointed patriots included. SHADOW SERVICE gives each of its characters room to flex and bend, within the narrative, such that readers earn a solid sense of their personality from the very moment they enter the scene. Gina is stubborn but brilliant; she detests those who patronize the less fortunate. Coyle, a ghoul in the service of Section 26, is patient but prone to judgment; he understands how easy it is to fall into darkness, because he's still there himself. And then there's Edwin, Eddie, whose outsized knowledge is always met with a wink and a nod; readers inherently know there's more to this street rat than meets the eye, but the guessing game is all part of the fun. What makes this comic so entertaining is the raw and unfiltered combination of characters intensely invested in themselves and the creative team's skill for integrating new and unusual ways to articulate these investments. Like trucking downtown in an pocket-dimension getaway van or ticking all of the boxes when it comes to documenting forced possession. SHADOW SERVICE gets dirty, and there are plenty of severed body parts, bullets to the skull, tentacle monsters, and so on. But Gina can take care of herself. To wit, the comic's creative team backs her up. Readers will encounter a flexible palette of mystical greens for pan-dimensional exorcisms or dark alleys where demons traipse the threshold of upstairs and downstairs. Readers will glimpse ephemeral blues and devilish purples when incantations rip apart the known from the unknown. Visually, this comic book keeps pace with the breathless anxiety its characters exhale each time they enter a room and something feels just a little bit off. SHADOW SERVICE is a really good book from a small publisher. It does everything right. Gina's intelligent and she's a fighter, but she needs help more often than she's willing to gamble. Somewhat ironically, the same can be said of the people she's trying to give the slip, whether they be demons gone AWOL in the human realm or gun-toting fools with a burning hatred for witches. And when readers hit the final page of the current volume, they'll realize that no matter what their expectation is of Gina, it's nowhere near epic enough to gauge what's coming down the pike.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Wake Up and Smell the Brimstone This book is a complete hoot. We start with one of the oldest frames around - a young woman/"witch" with great but unschooled power, (Gina), is abducted by a secret group, (MI666), that fights demons and other supernatural beings and forces. They are willing to train her up and welcome her, but she's an independent, sarcastic, loner smartass who resists being part of a disciplined team. Sound familiar? Of course it does. But who cares, because the book is funny, wi Wake Up and Smell the Brimstone This book is a complete hoot. We start with one of the oldest frames around - a young woman/"witch" with great but unschooled power, (Gina), is abducted by a secret group, (MI666), that fights demons and other supernatural beings and forces. They are willing to train her up and welcome her, but she's an independent, sarcastic, loner smartass who resists being part of a disciplined team. Sound familiar? Of course it does. But who cares, because the book is funny, witty, surprising, fast paced, and very well drawn, inked, and colored. The style, both in the art and a lot of the deadpan humor, reminded me a good deal of "The Umbrella Academy", which is certainly not a bad thing. This time around we have our heroine paired with a wisecracking rodent pal, Edwin. Edwin knows more and understands more than he ever lets on, but he offers a witty, patronizing, and very personable commentary on the action. Meanwhile, the shadow service is loaded with interesting members, has a totally imperturbable and deadpan hilarious kid(?) leader, and has access to an almost infinite variety of magical stuff. I especially appreciated the fact that this isn't one of those books that stretches out the suspense and mystery by withholding information. When Gina asks a question she gets an answer. There's no tedious monologuing; between action scenes both Gina and the reader are crisply brought into the tale. Some flashbacks fill in Gina's backstory, but they are just helpful tidbits and we don't get reams of Gina-witch-angst, which is the worst sort of angst. (Eventually, though, other backstory flashbacks hint at deeper histories for all of the other characters, as well. A cliffhanger ending reveals even more depth, promising that every character will be going much deeper into their own rabbit holes before the ultimate end.) So, I like the heroine, the setup, and all of the supporting characters. The actual plot in this Volume is immaterial beyond filling in the frame, but it involves danger, demonic threats, and running around. (It is clear that there's a much larger arc planned to jump off from here.) In any event, I was amused and entertained, and, very impressed. This collects the first four issues of the series, and I hope it hangs around for a long while. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    I'm grateful to the author and publishers for an advance preview of this collected volume of Shadow Service, which I'd been following as the separate parts were published. I don't often review comics on here - my mind runs on verbal rather than visual lines and I find it hard to do them justice - but this is one that really deserves some attention, so I will do my best! This volume collects issues 1-5 of Shadow Service, introducing Gina Meyer, private investigator and witch. Gina walks the mean s I'm grateful to the author and publishers for an advance preview of this collected volume of Shadow Service, which I'd been following as the separate parts were published. I don't often review comics on here - my mind runs on verbal rather than visual lines and I find it hard to do them justice - but this is one that really deserves some attention, so I will do my best! This volume collects issues 1-5 of Shadow Service, introducing Gina Meyer, private investigator and witch. Gina walks the mean streets of London, where her speciality is finding the lost. The opening panels see her alone in the moody streets, before getting involved in a fight in some dive... but they also introduce a sense of pervasive surveillance when we realise that somebody is watching Gina. That early fight leads into pretty much non-stop action, as you'd expect with Gina discovering that her apparently straightforward occupation has led to her becoming involved in a complex and fraught battle touching on organised crime, demonic powers and blackmail - and that a department of Government, nicknamed MI666, are also players here. (I loved that fact that their HQ was in "Carnacki House"). The story operates on two timelines, jumping back (mainly at the start of each issue, if you are reading them that way) to show Gina's earlier life and how she came to be a witch. Or perhaps I should say, how her powers manifested - because she states that they were always there, as words in her mind, words she learned to deploy as weapons or tools but never understood before that. Hers is a powerful and raw emotional backstory which explains why she is something of a loner (she has one friend - the talking rat called Edgar, though he may not be quite what we imagine). That accounts, I think, for Gina's reluctance to sign up with the spooks once they reel her in - though she is impressed by their powers and resources, she definitely doesn't trust them and prefers to do things her own way. It's only going to lead to trouble, I think. Overall, a turbulent, twisty story which covers a lot of ground. Gina is a determined and resourceful protagonist who perhaps acts a little impulsively but whose heart is in the right place but there is a mystery about her true nature. The overall visual tone of Shadow Service is sombre - it's often night time, the story dwelling on scruffy alleyways, empty offices, bars and gyms whose greyness often ends overwritten with blood and gore. Allies here are provisional, and sometimes the best way forward is to offer up one's very soul for trade...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ruthsic

    Warnings: child abuse, domestic abuse, cannibalism, body horror and gore, gun violence, abduction, A promising start to a series, Shadow Service excellently builds a world of supernatural beings in a shadow war against each other, and a protagonist who has just stumbled into her role in it. Gina is a witch who supplements her PI service with he magical powers. She doesn't know where these powers come from, only that since she was a kid, she would just immediately know the correct spell for whate Warnings: child abuse, domestic abuse, cannibalism, body horror and gore, gun violence, abduction, A promising start to a series, Shadow Service excellently builds a world of supernatural beings in a shadow war against each other, and a protagonist who has just stumbled into her role in it. Gina is a witch who supplements her PI service with he magical powers. She doesn't know where these powers come from, only that since she was a kid, she would just immediately know the correct spell for whatever she wanted; the side effect of using her magic is that she has to suffer insomnia in proportion to the strength of the spell. She also works some jobs for a specific client of hers, who we later find was something of a mentor to her, and her only friend is a literal rat (who can also speak, incidentally, but who/what he is a whole another story). During one period after a finished job where she is still suffering the effects of insomnia, she comes across a stalker, and a corpse and two skilled agents after her, who know how to use magic themselves, and she is taken prisoner. They inform her of their organization and how her client is part of an enemy organization and they need her to be an in for them. Gina, however, has her own plans about whom she will ally with, and the changing landscape of her current problems direct some of it. There's a cat and mouse game going on at some point of time, and the variety of supernatural beings (there's a ghoul, someone related to an angel or something, some demons thrown in, etc) make for an intriguing plot, even if at times you can be a bit confused as to what they are, and what is going on. Gina's dry humor mixed with the grim narration gives a distinct personality and tone to how the story is rendered. The character design is pretty good for the most part and the coloring is fantastic as to the mood of the story, keeping the color palette vivid but contrasting it with heavy inking to evoke a gritty setting. There are a lot of violent and gory scenes so like look out for those, but it isn't overdone in my opinion. Finally, I am looking forward to future installments because that was one hell of an ending. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Vault Comics, via Edelweiss.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5 Gina Meyers is a private investigator with a gift. Her gift is that she's a witch, with full spell-casting abilities. But that gift may also be a curse as Gina wonders if she's worse than the criminals she catches. She believes she's unique with her ability, but of course she's not and she's soon recruited by the British super-secret spy service (MI666). I found this book to be quite average. If supernatural mystery comics This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5 Gina Meyers is a private investigator with a gift. Her gift is that she's a witch, with full spell-casting abilities. But that gift may also be a curse as Gina wonders if she's worse than the criminals she catches. She believes she's unique with her ability, but of course she's not and she's soon recruited by the British super-secret spy service (MI666). I found this book to be quite average. If supernatural mystery comics are your thing (and it is for many) than this is probably a really good book for you. But for the average graphic novel reader, there isn't much here to attract the reader. MI666 comes off less of a Harry Potter version of the Avengers and more of a military outfit that enchants their weapons and shields. There seems to be potential in Gina's character but so far in these collected comics I didn't feel any connection or reason to want to follow her exploits. And I wanted to. I wanted to find a reason to really get into this because it sounded like something I'd enjoy. The art was fair but somewhat uneven. I liked the dark, monstrous creatures the most and maybe that's one of my problems with the book... I feel like we're supposed to be following Gina, but the nightmares are much more interesting. I'm moderately glad to have read this, but I won't be looking for any future volumes and can't really recommend this. Looking for a good book? The graphic novel Shadow Service doesn't live up to the potential of the concept and doesn't provide a compelling reason to chose this over the other graphic novel options available. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abby (readingrainville)

    3.5 Stars for Shadow Service Volume 1 Thanks to NetGalley for access to this wonderful graphic novel. While I enjoyed the overall concept and the atmosphere this novel provided, I could not help but wish that things were developed more. It felt like I was thrust into this and taken through things at such a fast pace that there was not much time to develop the characters or the overall world in the story. Tidbits were given and this seemed like a wonderful start to more series of graphic novels in 3.5 Stars for Shadow Service Volume 1 Thanks to NetGalley for access to this wonderful graphic novel. While I enjoyed the overall concept and the atmosphere this novel provided, I could not help but wish that things were developed more. It felt like I was thrust into this and taken through things at such a fast pace that there was not much time to develop the characters or the overall world in the story. Tidbits were given and this seemed like a wonderful start to more series of graphic novels in this series, but the world seemed very interesting and made me want to know much more than I was given. I enjoyed the way that the character's powers were handled and thought it was an intriguing way to handle a witch in a story. The concept of the words always being in her head throughout her childhood and the insomnia that it gave her. I hope that will get explored more in the future. Overall this was a wonderful detective/supernatural story that gave me a mix of MIB, Supernatural, Charmed, and Jessica Jones for very different reasons. The illustrations were wonderful and the demon designs were truly horrifying to look at which was perfect for the circumstances surrounding the novel. While I do not know if I will be picking up Volume 2 of this Graphic Novel, I did enjoy my experience with reading through my copy of Volume 1.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    There's a lot in this series, full of intrigue and anticipation. When it comes to using magical creatures as beings under oppression, that's controversial. Writers will always try to give characters reasons for bigotry while keeping characters on a leash to make sure things don't go too far. But systemic bigotry isn't logical, it's just about oppression by taking advantage of people for political power. Take the main character Gina, a witch who has been through a hard life. So when she's being hun There's a lot in this series, full of intrigue and anticipation. When it comes to using magical creatures as beings under oppression, that's controversial. Writers will always try to give characters reasons for bigotry while keeping characters on a leash to make sure things don't go too far. But systemic bigotry isn't logical, it's just about oppression by taking advantage of people for political power. Take the main character Gina, a witch who has been through a hard life. So when she's being hunted by a spy agency simply for existing under their radar, there's a real sense of danger and oppression. The very reference of Brexit and how people in power use it as a means of gaining followers between different parties is a perfect analogy. Gina's and by extension the agents aren't in this whole thing to help people, they're being used by demonic entities who are more than willing to use people for their political gains. I really like how systemic bigotry is portrayed here. It's not perfect but it's just the right kind of outline for political dominance.

  23. 4 out of 5

    -RadioactiveBookworm-

    If you know me, you know will always love a gory graphic novel. And this is definitely one of them. Shadow Service is an addicting book that I really loved checking out. The story was extremely gripping and the art was mind boggling, I really could never have thought of anything like it in a million years. A new twist on magic powers and demon possession, I really couldn't get enough. I can't wait to see what the next volume is all about. Check out my full review here! https://radioactivebookrevie If you know me, you know will always love a gory graphic novel. And this is definitely one of them. Shadow Service is an addicting book that I really loved checking out. The story was extremely gripping and the art was mind boggling, I really could never have thought of anything like it in a million years. A new twist on magic powers and demon possession, I really couldn't get enough. I can't wait to see what the next volume is all about. Check out my full review here! https://radioactivebookreviews.wordpr...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Gina Myers is a PI in London, but she has magic! She is not sure how it works and it gives her insomnia when she uses it, but she is making a living until MI666 comes calling. So think a twisted version of Harry Potter and James Bond crossed with Kingsman and the Laundry series. Gina has some strange friends that try to protect her, but will that be a help or a hindrance as she tries to survive? An nicely done intro to this world. It will be interesting to see what comes in the next volume.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I enjoyed this graphic novel, and having the setting in London was fun for me because I've visited there a few times in my life and it was nice to be reminded of the area. Having a supernatural magical witch PI was pretty cool, and the art was good. I would probably read more of this series if it comes available as an ebook. I want to thank Edelweiss and the publisher, Vault Comics, for providing me with a copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book. I enjoyed this graphic novel, and having the setting in London was fun for me because I've visited there a few times in my life and it was nice to be reminded of the area. Having a supernatural magical witch PI was pretty cool, and the art was good. I would probably read more of this series if it comes available as an ebook. I want to thank Edelweiss and the publisher, Vault Comics, for providing me with a copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Night

    I’ve just read Issue 1, thanks to Black Crow who provided a copy - wow this is good! Within just a few pages we are introduced to fascinating characters, magic, body horror, cannibalism, a talking rat, baddassery, damnnnn! Also the art is absolutely fantastic. I am definitely intrigued and want to read more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Lee

    *Thank you to Netgalley and Diamond Book Publishers for allowing me to have an eARC!* This comic was amazing! This is not my typical style of genre but throughly enjoy my time reading it and was surprised when I saw I was almost done! I can’t wait to read the next volume already!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julius7007

    7.0!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anita Grace

    Strong start. The protags general vibe is communicated pretty clearly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dame Samara

    Did Shadow Service lure 'me in by having an incredibly similar title design as G.I. Joe? Yes Do I regret picking it up? Not one bit. This is a crazy read from start to finish, and it just got weirder and weirder as it went. Then the Cliff hanger had me verbally cursing because I need to know what happens. Also, more about what in the world is going on. Did Shadow Service lure 'me in by having an incredibly similar title design as G.I. Joe? Yes Do I regret picking it up? Not one bit. This is a crazy read from start to finish, and it just got weirder and weirder as it went. Then the Cliff hanger had me verbally cursing because I need to know what happens. Also, more about what in the world is going on.

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