Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13/R
Writers: Roberto Xavier Molinari and Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Artist: Jamie Martinez Rodriguez
Letters: El Torres
Cover: Luca Meril
Editor: Alexandria P. Molinari
Publisher: Scout Comics
Story: 3.4 Stars
Artwork: 3.5 Stars
Cover Artwork: 4.1 Stars
Dialogue: 3.3 Stars
Mechanics: 3.4 Stars
Editing: 3.5 Stars
About the Book:
The Shepherd: The Tether #1 gives us the story of Val and Lawrence Miller. Val died of a drug overdose as a teenager. Not being able to cope with the loss of his son, Lawrence took his own life. They found one another in the afterlife. They’re not in Heaven. They’re not in Hell. They are in the Seam. The seam is similar to limbo, a place to resolve any issues before being allowed to cross over to the next realm. Val and Lawrence have taken it upon themselves to help guide souls across while battling their inner demons.
The Shepherd: The Tether #1 almost immediately separates itself from its contemporaries. There are very few titles that focus on souls/ghosts/spirits helping other souls cross over. I can’t think of any that involve a father/son team. I like this originality.
I appreciated how this title approaches the afterlife. It seems fitting. If someone is dealing with angst in their life when they die they should have to go to the Seam while they work through those issues. Additionally, I also appreciated the disagreement between Val and Lawrence. You can tell they have had this discussion before and Val is tired of hearing it. Those panels were spot on with life as the parent of a teenager.
There isn’t a lot of action in this book. Instead it focuses on the fact that Val and Lawrence clearly still have unresolved issues. Now they have nothing but time to work through those together. I look forward to seeing how they manage to resolve things.
I am very fond of this cover. It gives us a glimpse of most of the relevant characters in this issue. Moreover, it tells you this story is going to be dark. You get a sense of danger when you see it. This cover creates intrigue, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to get your book noticed.
The artwork on the interior pages is solid. We get good lines and detail. The coloring does a splendid job of accentuating the effects of the mist in the Seam. I liked the panels with the hyenas.
As a geek on a budget I would recommend that you know yourself before buying The Shepherd: The Tether #1. It touches on some dark topics, while also suggesting a somewhat different path through the afterlife than the one that many faiths suggest. If you are solid in your faith, want something different, and can handle hard discussions that may hit close to home, The Shepherd: The Tether #1 is an excellent read.