Umbral #9 (Image Comics, 2014)

umbral-009-cvrSTORY : Antony Johnston

ART : Christopher Mitten (art), Jordan Boyd (colours) and Thomas Mauer (letters)

At last, the action starts to pick up again!!

The last few issues have been nice in terms of building up characters and a bit of the world itself, but even then they’ve been drawn forward almost painstakingly slowly – something that would be a problem for any other book on the stands, but Mittens’ artwork makes it feel less so.


In the last issue where we followed our misfit quartet of “heroes” lost in the deep woods and assailed by internal distrust and many threats from outside. Now we get to meet the deadly Wodelings as our team is split up – leaving Shayim and Munty to gnash teeth and try and kill each other and having Rascal and Dalone reluctantly travelling with the deadly jungle dwellers.

Overall the pace of things felt really good and while on the one hand the issue just flew by, on the other, I was left feeling satisfied by the end with a grand splash page close that promises interesting developments ahead. The face-off between Shayim and Munty felt a bit cliched and boring (though not unjustified or forced) and was thankfully kept to a graceful minimum and a good fight is a good fight! Right?

Another HUGE plus for me this time around was watching Mitten get to render the Umbral shadow-creature Rascal is interacting with in her dreams and there was plenty of it. The man can draw and what h draws, I love it all!

It all comes together to give us a nicely crafted adventure and mystery with just enough science and futuristic concepts mixed into the basic running, gunning and intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat. Coupled with a nice art style that just pops to life under the excellent colours by Jordan Boyd, all in all I quite enjoyed this latest entry into Image’s lineup of comics.


As always, I heartily recommend this book to any and every fan of fantasy out there – interesting, clever, funny, action-y, adventurous and intriguing. Worth it.



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