By Tim Seeley, Carlos Villa, Juan Vlasco, Gerardo Sandoval and Carlos Lopez
As you read through this Shatterstar mini-series, it’s funny to see how deep the character actually is. Shatterstar was essentially a generic tough guy for much of the 90’s X-Force run. He was a take him or leave him type for me. I didn’t care much about the character at all and he was actually one of my least favorites on the team. A funny thing happened to him though, he began to get depth in X-Factor and this Shatterstar mini is putting on some layers too. It’s gotten to the point where Shatterstar is now one of my favorite Marvel characters. As Tim Seeley gives us issue 4, we see the lengths that Shatterstar will go to to save his friends and tenants. These are the kind of things that bring new fans on board with a relatively unknown character.
This issue picks up after the death of Tina, which is a likable character. Tim Seeley has a habit of making you like almost everyone that he writes, which makes it hard when one of them dies. There is a cool scene in this issue where Shatterstar is standing over Tina’s body and looking at the gladiator who killed her. Many characters like Wolverine would just attack this man, but Shatterstar looks him in the eyes and asks him for a favor. Seeley understands Shatterstar. He understands that this is warrior code in the arena and that the other guy was just doing his job. Seeley uses flashbacks effectively too in this issue. They allow us to see how ruthless and efficient Shatterstar used to be as a warrior. He may have tamed down a little when he became a landlord, but he still has some fight in him. We’re also left with a crazy cliffhanger going into the final issue. There should be no doubt that if you’ve been reading this series, the final issue has you pumped.
The pencils this issue are handled by Carlos Villa in the present and flashback sequences by Gerardo Sandoval. Inks are done by Juan Vlasco and villa, with colors by Carlos Lopez. Carlos Villa does a great job on the art in the present. His lines are nice and clean, thanks to the inks. Villa draws his battle sequences well, it’ll be hard to find a better looking decapitation than the one drawn in this issue as Shetterstar takes on several foes. The shading over his eyes is spectacular too. The flashback art by Sandoval is very fitting too. Sandoval has a grittier style, that works well here because this was a different time for Shatterstar. Shatterstar is angry in his flashback panels and the colors by Carlos Lopez show that. Most of the background is Red, which is a hot color, one used to show anger or rage. Lopez uses it perfectly in these panels as Shatterstar kills without mercy.
With just one issue left, this series has been very impressive. Tim Seeley stripped down a 90’s character and reinvented him. The art was very good and really helped the issue pop in both the flashback sequences and the present. You don’t need to be a fan of Shatterstar to enjoy this book. This is just a good writer doing what he does best.