Shadow Roads #1 Review: An Intriguing Start for This Sci-Fi Western

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A young Native American named Henry Grey and his friend, Barry, explore a British museum with an extensive, yet still racist, exhibit on Native American culture. Henry is dissatisfied and feels that he knows nothing more about his heritage, but a strange man appears and gives him a strange knife.

Shadow Roads #1 cover by A. C. Zamudio and Carlos Nicolas Zamudio
Shadow Roads #1 cover by A. C. Zamudio and Carlos N. Zamudio

In America, a man named Chester Smith arrives in a small town to find a new ally.

Sixth Gun is something I have yet to read, so Shadow Roads is the first experience I've had with this universe. I also missed the Free Comic Book Day release of this book, so there's that too.

I'm a sucker for westerns, so Shadow Roads has me on the genre front quickly. Henry and Barry are a good lead pair. Henry is a tortured man with no connection to the heritage for which he is frequently judged, and Barry is a well-meaning and eager scholar who doesn't quite understand Henry despite wanting to do so.

Chester Smith is a more classical western lead; he's an old and grizzled wanderer with his sights set on revenge and a friend long past who still haunts him (possibly literally).

Shadow Roads has piqued my interest. It has good leads, an interesting premise, and I want to see where it goes from here.

Shadow Roads #1 art by A.C. Zamudio and Carlos N. Zamudio
Shadow Roads #1 art by A.C. Zamudio and Carlos N. Zamudio

A.C. Zamudio delivers a straightforward yet charming art style. The detailing serves to distinguish the weathered from the fresh-faced. Body language and posture are used to display emotion and attitude well. The West that is shown is appropriately harsh yet enticing. Carlos N. Zamudio is the color artist, and he balances each scene well, knowing when to focus on the lighter and darker shades for effect.

Shadow Roads #1 is an interesting sci-fi/fantasy/western with compelling leads and a mystery at the heart of the world that calls to be solved. This is a strong start and approachable to those unfamiliar with the finer details of the Sixth Gun canon like myself. Mix that with some solid artwork, and you have a book worth recommending. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.