Published on August 15th, 2017 | by Dana Folkard0
AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS #6 REVIEW
Summary: Shadow is taken on a wild carousel ride, where Mr. Wednesday reveals all.
A compelling issue!
After a bizarre roadtrip adventure with Mr. Wednesday that has culminated in a strange meeting with the golds of old, Shadow is abruptly kidnapped and interrogated by mysterious men in suits. A storm is coming and Shadow is caught in the middle of it all!
This issue dives straight into a wonderful mess of psychedelic colour and imagery, as Shadow, Mr. Wednesday, Czernobog and Mr. Nancy take a carousel ride into oblivion and the unknown. This is one wild ride, that messes with Shadow’s sense of reality, making him question the things he is seeing and experiencing. Is this real or an illusion? Strange visions assault his senses, and he finds himself seeing his companions in their many differing forms, that are both great and terrifying to behold. It is in this moment, that Shadow is finally revealed Mr. Wednesday’s true form, as the almighty god, Odin! A spectacular and flamboyant reveal, if I must say so! They suddenly find themselves inside Valaskjalf, a large and primitive hall that belongs to Odin. It is here where the old gods have gathered, summoned by Odin himself, to talk about the impending storm and threat of the new gods. Unfortunately, less have turned up than expected, and with the air of desperation hanging in the air, Wednesday tries to sell his plan of attack to these reluctant gods. After an anticlimactic ending to the meeting, Shadow is abruptly pulled out of that reality and finds himself back in front of the carousel. The next phase of Wednesday’s plan begins, as he takes them all out for a spot of chow, however, Shadow is kidnapped before he ever makes it to the restaurant.
Holy Moses Batman, what a compelling issue! There is a lot going on here, from the mind-altering, reality-bending venture into Wednesday’s mind, to the events surrounding Shadow’s capture. Shadow is thrown headfirst into a chaotic situation, forcing him to witness the confusing and puzzling scenes surrounding him. It is during this ride that he is finally revealed the true identities of his companions, learning that they are in fact gods. Now that’s some heavy news to digest, but Shadow seems to cope quite fine, taking it all in his stride. We also have the intense interrogation that Shadow experiences, courtesy of Mr. Wood and Mr. Stone. These two spooks in suits aren’t here to mess around, and the unexpected assault has Shadow reeling and struggling to adjust to his harsh new surroundings. One of my favourite things about this story is the wonderful contrast and balance of dark themes, juxtaposed alongside light-hearted and comical moments. For instance, the meeting in the hall is an ominous and uneasy affair, but this whole sinister affair is lightened by Anansi’s hilarious and whimsical story about the tiger and his stolen balls. It’s moments like these that make me chuckle out loud, enjoying the quirky and eccentric nature of this story and these characters.
Scott Hampton’s art is alive and vibrant, transporting us into a weird and wonderful landscape. Hampton uses a number of interesting panelling techniques, framing many of these scenes at strange angles, which forced me to tilt my head at weird at times. I enjoyed seeing the gods in their many different forms, and thought that these reveals were portrayed in an interesting and unique way. There were also some moments where I found that Hampton’s art possessed a more painted quality, as if brushstrokes were used to give a sense of texture and depth. I found these scenes to be quite pretty to look at, and they stood out for me from many of the other scenes in this issue. The colours in this issue are much brighter and vivid than we’ve previously seen. The whole journey into Wednesday’s mind is a cornucopia of colour, as everything is awash in a striking palette, with lively pops of colour painting the landscape. I also thought the contrasting colour palette of dull and muted tones that we see once Shadow returns to his own reality, effective in establishing the overall tone of these scenes, as they feel somewhat reflective of the impending war that is on the horizon.
Overall, I found this to be an exciting and wild ride into a warped reality. Things are beginning to unfold, revealing secrets, identities and plans to Shadow at an alarming rate. P. Craig Russell delicately handles this adaptation in a subtle and respectful way, and this coupled with Scott Hampton’s art, makes for an enjoyable journey. I’m looking forward to #7 where we’ll see Shadow’s next move in this bizarre game with the gods.
I’m giving this issue 4.5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton and Rick Parker
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PUBLICATION DATE: August 16, 2017
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard