The art on the first page of Solomon Kane: Red Shadows #3 is beautiful. Unfortunately, nothing actually happens in the subsequent seven pages. Solomon lands in Africa, there’s a quick recap of the first two issues (more on that later), then he skulks around the jungle and gets captured extremely easily. Without spoiling the story, things pick up at this point and become quite enjoyable for the remainder of the comic.
The issue is a solid effort, and worth reading. The art remains at the high level established in the first two issues of the mini-series, and Rahsan Ekedal creates some amazing period specific imagery. The colorist, Dan Jackson does an outstanding job maintaining the dark feel of the book. His work is wonderful, lending a painted feel to many of the panels.
My one complaint is the pacing. As mentioned earlier, there is a recap that feels completely unnecessary. In a four-issue miniseries, should there ever be a point where you are recapping what happened previously? The pacing issues are even more confusing given that there is a condensation of how Kane finds the villain le Loup later in the book. The skip in the story looks as if it would have fit quite nicely in the first eight pages.
As a fan of Robert E Howard’s work, I’m enjoying this rendition of Solomon Kane. Bruce Jones manages to convey the single-mindedness of Kane in a believable manner. He never becomes heavy handed with thees, thous, and Christian dogma. Le Loup comes across as an almost likable scoundrel, though he is completely corrupted. He’s a very good counterpoint to the puritanical and basically unlikable Kane. The supporting characters introduced at the end of the issue are quickly and ably fleshed out, and should play a large part in the finale. For those waiting for the supernatural element to make an appearance, have no fear, you won’t be disappointed.
For all of its faults in pacing, the story is solid, and Rahsan Ekedal’s art carries the book through the slow portions. Solomon Kane: Red Shadows is a good read and I’m looking forward to the final issue, and the conclusion of the story.