Advanced Review – Shaft: Imitation of Life #1
Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 of 4
Writer: David Walker
Artist: Dietrich Smith
Cover: Matthew Clark
Not sure what I expected from Shaft, but I think I got it. Shaft, John Shaft, is a well meaning, but violent character. His intentions are good, but he is constantly wrestling with a monster inside him. In this issue, Shaft is on a mission to find Mike Prosser, a young homosexual man who left his hometown to find a place more accepting of him. Mike’s parents know that it may be a waste of money, but he’s their son, and worth it. Images of what Mike is doing come up and you can’t help but hope things will go okay for him. Shaft takes the picture of Mike from the Prossers and begins to ask around.
The first place is to a LGBT bar called Stonewall. He doesn’t have much success until a man, Tito Salazar, decides to help him out. They step outside, get into a fight with some guys, and make it home unfortunately. Good thing Shaft doesn’t give up. He knows he and Tito are going to have some work to do.
If you are uncomfortable with slander, then I don’t suggest this book. If you are not okay with violence and blaxploitation, then don’t read this book. However, this book is a decent read. From the cheesy mustaches to the ugly vests and turtlenecks, I guess Shaft gives a good portrayal of those old 70s movies (I didn’t grow up then, so I wouldn’t know). David Walker tells a good story. Throwing in flashbacks of Shaft’s life helps to put his point across, Shaft’s inner monster. Along with that was a lot of inner monologue. Detrich Smiths art is great. However, some of the panels from the fight scenes could be a bit more dynamic. I sure didn’t see as many Afros as I expected, not that its bad. It just surprised me. Yes, this comic is a full of stereotypes, but they don’t take much away from the story.