Writer: Adam Barnhardt
Illustrations: Samir Simão
Colors: Warnia K Sahadewa
Editor: Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Publisher: Scout Comics
I have always loved the first book of any new title. There’s a whole new story and universe that we get to learn about and explore! Some are a flash in the pan. Others leave you wondering how you survived without it. The magic of discovery keeps me constantly adding new titles from independent writers and publishers. When I saw Sh*tshow I had to see where it fell on the spectrum.
Sh*tshow #1 tells us about the Age of Heroes. Legend (a man named Richard McCoy with a dying star in his heart) is a demigod of sorts that leads a team of individuals with powers called Legion that protects the Earth. Thus far the team has handled everything that’s come their way.
That changes when a demon called Balam is summoned. Legion is completely overmatched and several members are killed.
We fast forward ten years and see that McCoy survived the ordeal. He and his children work in a circus act to make money. To go through this existence McCoy spends as much time as possible in a drunken stupor.
At the end of the issue we see he’s going to need to pull it together. Balam is back and ready for round two!
The splash page is really busy. Normally that is fine. With the amount of information that came with the introduction of Billet, Mel, Lightspeed, Maxxnn and Legend it was a bit of a sensory overload.
Once I got past that page I really enjoyed the artistic style. There isn’t too much detail in panels where things are transitioning. The reader also isn’t wanting more definitive lines in the heat of battle.
“Sh*tshow” is not a children’s story. It doesn’t have to be. In fact I rather liked the notion of having our heroes get smacked around and losing. I especially enjoyed seeing life after the Age of Heroes.
The dialogue moves the story along at a good pace. I would have liked more dialogue to help with character development beyond Richard McCoy.
The lettering is terrific, which can be a challenge with that many different fonts and colors. There are no grammatical errors. A couple editor notes to help with the setting and everything from an editing point of view is spot on.
I liked the dynamic of switching between times. It can be difficult to pull off. Mr. Barnhardt does so very gracefully. The story is relatively easy to fall into.
This book reminds me a lot of the Avengers without Captain America yelling, “Language”. The biggest difference between them is that the majority of this origin story is more plausible.
Given it’s risqué title, your local comic book store may or may not have “Sh*tshow” #1 available. I’d say go straight to the source and order directly from www.ScoutComics.com. At a $4 cover price it’s worth the price of admission.