Shadow Show #5 is the last issue of this anthology of comics based on stories inspired by Ray Bradbury. It’s been a mixed bag so far. Some of the stories have been good, while others – not so much. This issue is definitely on the better side of things, although not quite the best that this series has had to offer.
“Conjure,” by Alice Hoffman, is the lone offering for this final issue. It’s a story that works hard to evoke Ray Bradbury: Summer in some unnamed small town. There are whispers of an angel that’s fallen from heaven and landed in a nearby field. And, of course, the protagonist, Abbey, loves books. In fact, she even checks out Something Wicked This Way Comes from the library. This is fortuitous, since it enables her to have a conversation with the librarian about trusting your intuition to tell you if someone is wicked. If she’d have checked out The Martian Chronicles instead, she’d have been screwed!
Abbey’s best friend is Cate, who dreams of leaving their town for California after they graduate from high school. Cate insists on cutting through the field where the angel is supposed to have fallen, and there they meet a young man subtly dressed in all black, who introduces himself as Lowell, the cousin of a boy they know. Abbey immediately distrusts him, but Cate is drawn to him. As Abbey’s unease around this stranger increases, she begins investigating him, and she doesn’t like what she finds. She comes to realize that Cate is in terrible danger, and the only way to save her may be to sacrifice their friendship.
This is a good story to end the series with. My personal favorite remains issue #3’s “Live Forever!” Still Shadow Show #5 might be worth it to fans of Ray Bradbury. The art is good, and it felt like a proper adaptation, rather than prose with some pictures thrown in, as has been my complaint about some of the other stories presented in this series. There’s no fantastical element in this story, however, which left me a little disappointed.
As I said before, I don’t think that Shadow Show #5 is the best issue in the anthology. However, if you’ve been enjoying the better offerings in this series (which, for some reason, only seem to be the odd-numbered issues), give this final issue a shot.