Being the first issue of a series, there’s a sense of urgency to hook readers right from the beginning. That’s what ‘Sombra’ (Spanish for ‘shadow’) does. Two pages in and the series delivers a punch straight to the gut, hard.
The story burrows down the rabbit hole of notorious, violent Mexican drug cartels. Enter: DEA Agent Danielle Marlowe, looking for her father Conrad who went missing years ago. Conrad Marlowe doesn’t want to be found while he inflicts his own brand of justice, seeking revenge over the death of his own DEA partner. However, Danielle is hot on Conrad’s trail, tasked with bringing her father down. By any means necessary.
Justin Jordan is a storyteller and his writing speaks for itself. Here is a writer who, even after making a name for himself over at DC and Marvel, continues to release creator-owned series predominantly. Jordan writes what he wants to write and from the very first page of Sombra, it is apparent that he cares very much about this project. Justin’s blood, sweat and tears have gone into this comic book.
Raúl Treviño’s art gives off a Darwyn Cooke vibe. The lines seem effortless yet each stroke is full of purpose. You can almost feel the expressions felt by the characters just by looking at them. We need more art like this in comics. But Treviño’s talent isn’t the only thing that made him the right choice for Sombra. Raúl Treviño is a Mexican citizen who has witnessed first-hand the violence that a cartel can dish out, on members of his own family.
The color palette used in Sombra adds a contrast between the grim subject of the series and the beauty in Mexico that colorist Juan Useche encapsulates perfectly. Jim Campbell has lettered numerous titles to much acclaim; Giant Days, Burning Fields, Hoax Hunters and now Sombra is on that list. Campbell understands how lettering can, and does, affect the narrative of the story. This means that what you’re given is a comic book series that is carefully pieced together by the creative team to produce a series that aims high and hits the mark, each person understanding their role within the team.
BOOM! Studios have been hitting it out of the park over the last few years with title after title of pure gold. Sombra is no exception. Sombra gives off a Kurt Sutter-esque feel and this series is for those readers who like titles that when the going gets tough, the series keeps on going.