Written by: Joe Henderson
Arty by: Lee Garbett
Colors by: Antonio Fabela
Lettered by: Simon Bowland
After the success of Skyward from a couple of years ago by the same creative team, many were probably left wondering what was next and thankfully Shadecraft came pretty quickly and maintains the same level of quality.
While this first issue ultimately is just setup, introducing the audience to Zadie, her life and her relationship with shadows, there is enough personality and layers that it's amazing how well and quickly the reader is immersed in this world. The story moves at a quick pace and while there is a lot of exposition to introduce all the elements but is expertly told without seeming cliche or basic and is a real to testament to Henderson's talent.
The issue is mostly split into two areas where on one side we're introduced to the normal aspects of Zadie's life, her seemingly unrequited interest in her friend Josh, her friendship with Kate, her status at her school as both the younger sister to her star older brother and then the sister to the kid in a coma and strained relationship with her parents while interweaving encounters with shadows throughout most of the scenes leading to the reveal that her own shadow seems to have been possessed by her brother somehow.
As great as the writing is, paired with Garbett's art and Fabela's colors, makes for a real standout issue. While the art in Skyward was fantastic, it did lack a bit of detail that seems to be more present here and as much as I liked the art in Skyward, this seems like a slight step up which is a great surprise. The character designs are varied enough that it'll be fairly easy to recognize and keep trach of all the supporting characters while also providing great facial and body language to convey the tone of the scene.
Overall this was a great first issue, easily one of the better first issue's I've read in a while. The setup reminds me a lot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch with having a more normal high school student drama juxtaposed with supernatural elements. I definitely will be looking forward to the rest of this series.