Walker brings the events of Shaft’s first case to a close and when it’s all said and done no one in Harlem will forget the name “John Shaft”. All the major players are exactly where he wants them and it’s finally time to mete out some revenge with a little justice throw in. Though it’s not all blood and bodies as Walker shows that Shaft is always several steps ahead as he is also playing a deadly game of blackmail with even more powerful men.
From narrative to artwork, Shaft is what great storytelling is all about. Walker brings the character to life and captures everything about John Shaft that creator, Ernest Tidyman, began those many years ago. There’s a nice balance to it all as it’s not just chases and shootouts but Walker makes sure to give us the very human side of our main character. Something we didn’t get to see a lot of in the film so it’s nice to get that character development here. Walker also makes Shaft a likable enough guy but one that’s been hardened by war, Harlem, and the times, so he’s got an edge to him. One that we see develop more as he makes a name for himself here.
Evely’s visual style has been near perfect since the beginning and she finishes just as strong here. Whether she’s illustrating the huge action sequence where we get to see Shaft finally face his girlfriend’s killer or a somber moment of reflection for the character it all looks fabulous. The background and fashion is spot on with the time period of the 60’s and seeing Shaft in the signature leather jacket and turtleneck was a nice touch as well. Again, Evely must be praised for the attention to detail when drawing African-American characters and not just relying on a colorist to let you know the race of the character. The colors by Miwa are still great and give the overall story a vintage feel of comics from those days.
There’s a reason why Shaft has been nominated for several awards and is the recent recipient of a Glyph Award for Story of the Year. The creative team behind it has done nothing short of deliver a fantastic story that is worth the attention and praise ever since the first issue re-introduced us to John Shaft. Expanding on the legend by going into his past and seeing, in part, the events that helped shape the man that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about. So pick this up immediately and see why everyone’s talkin’ about Shaft!