Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist / Cover: Joshua Hixson
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
It feels like forever since I read the first issue of Shanghai Red since I got a hold of the first issue way back in April. This story is one that I’ve been excited to dive back into! I was able to talk to Chris Sebela and Josh Hixson at HeroesCon this year, and they told me the book gets even more violent. Well, I’m here to tell you, they weren’t lying folks!
Molly has successfully returned to Portland and found the home she was taken from, empty and abandoned. Her mother has left Molly a letter just in case she returns, and is not dead like everyone thinks. We find out that the stress of Molly’s disappearance made her mother sick, and she died about a year after Molly was captured. But what happened to Katie, Molly’s little sister? She has had to fend for herself. Molly sets out to find Katie and start enacting her revenge upon the people who forced her into this predicament. Molly deftly beats the crap out of one of her captors, before setting him on fire and shooting him for good measure. Molly sets out to find another man, who she encounters in a bar, and after an exceedingly violent fight, the issue ends with Molly collapsing in a heap and the man has a knife in his neck.
I really am enjoying this book, Sebela really captures the emotions Molly is feeling and Hixon’s art does a great job of conveying the stress and vengeance she wants to enact. Hixon’s scratchy and rough style fits the book so well, but I’m especially in love with the color palette. The colors are so muted but there is such a great contrast especially when he uses reds, oranges and yellows. My favorite part of this issue is every violent act Molly commits, the background of the panel is brightened by that red, yellow and orange. It really draws you into how horrific and utterly remorseless she is with her actions. I am hoping that the fire she started in this issue continues to be a problem in further issues.
PS. If you are loving Shanghai Red (or not honestly), I would encourage you to check out Sebela’s Crowded, coming out from Image on 08/15/2018. It is completely different from Shanghai Red, but I loved what I saw in the preview issue I picked up at HeroesCon.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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